Ethically Sourced & Produced

Ethically sourced materials are sustainably harvested from the planet. Ethically produced fashion is created using eco-friendly processes and techniques.  All people involved in both aspects are treated with dignity and equity.  These are must-have principles for ethical fashion companies like Hearts.

A Profit-Centered, Unethical Economic System

Does it seem like the world has gotten smaller? In a global economy, consumers in wealthier countries can buy cheap products from around the world. To keep up with the world’s voracious appetite for consumption, big corporations push their producers and manufacturers to churn out more products on shorter timelines with cheaper materials paying laborers less. This profit-centered economic system doesn’t care about the wellbeing of the people working in the industry. It’s only drive is to make money.

The Burden to Support Fast Fashion

Fast fashion is abundant, cheap, and rapidly produced. Big corporations want high profit margins and in order to achieve them, they pay lowers prices to those producing their goods. The system for creating fast fashion looks something like this:

  1. Consumers want cheap fashion and new styles constantly.
  2. Big fashion corporations transfer these demands to the manufacturers by negotiating contracts at ever-lower prices.
  3. Manufacturers can only provide cheap, fast fashion by paying less for materials and labor. Those companies that cannot compete with the lower cost contracts are shut down in favor of low-cost producers in other countries.
  4. This leads to poor quality products that flood the market so that supply exceeds demand.
  5. As supply exceeds demand, clothing prices fall even further, thereby starting the whole cycle over again.

This system creates a vicious race to the bottom. Producers cut corners in order to meet the cost demands of big fashion companies. Here are some of the unethical practices used in the production of fast fashion:

  • Low wages: Many workers earn less than $2 per day.[i]
  • Human trafficking: 50,000 people are trafficked into America to work as slaves every year.[ii]
  • Unsafe equipment: The South African Minister for Mineral and Energy Affairs estimates that for every ton of gold mined, one person dies and 12 are seriously injured.[iii]
  • Chemical-based production: Toxic agriculture chemicals are used on crops like cotton to increase yields while poisoning water and air.
  • Animal cruelty: Farm animals are caged, fed pharmaceutical drugs, and treated inhumanely to lower costs.

This is an unethical fashion system driven solely by profit. The trail that leads from fast fashion production to your local clothing store is strewn with victims – people, animals and the planet.

Creating a People- and Planet-Centered Economic System

If you’re like us at Hearts, you know that buying cheap, trendy fashion at the expense of people or the planet isn’t worth it. The good news is that since consumers are responsible for driving demand, we have the power to change the system!

Products that are ethically produced and sourced make a different impact:

  • Materials are sustainably harvested.
  • People receive living wages and fair labor conditions.
  • Human rights are honored.
  • Environmental limitations are respected.

At Hearts, we’re serious about transforming the fashion industry for good by supporting ethical designers and sweatshop-free practices. We know you’ll wear our ethical fashion with pride!

To understand the many issues related to ethically sourced and produced fashion, dive deeper. 


[i]  Sweatshops in China. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2012, from War on Want: http://www.waronwant.org/overseas-work/sweatshops-and-plantations/china-sweatshops

[ii] Ronchetti, E. (2011). Women Trafficking in 2011: The New Face of Sex Slavery. Retrieved April 20, 2012, from Soroptimist: http://www.soroptimist.org/articles/women-trafficking-in-2011-the-new-face-of-sex-slavery.html

[iii]  A Dangerous Profession. (n.d.). Retrieved March 31, 2012, from No Dirty Gold: http://www.nodirtygold.org/a_dangerous_profession.cfm