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  • Ethical Fashion Part 5: Ethical Fashion's Open Way Forward


         Brian (in up-cycled clothing) and Shannon (in an OWY Synergy print) pictured in the Sandusky Studio.
         Thanks to Andy Oriel and The Sandusky Register for the photo.

    Yoga is widely embraced for its super powers. With each pose, we transcend physical, mental and spiritual barriers—exhale worry, inhale relief. We carry this power with us when we leave the studio—the power to transform problems into solutions. 

    Through our series on ethical fashion, Open Way Yoga has shed light on the painful truth about the clothes we wear. Billions of pounds of textiles in the trash millions of children working in the industry (and even more adults employed under dreadful conditions), thousands of chemicals that are toxic for the body and the planet —the basic facts about fashion are enough to overwhelm.  

    We would never knowingly employ children, pummel the earth or ingest poisonous toxins, but the dark side of the fashion industry is hidden from us, so we dress in clothing that contributes to harm without realizing it is within our power to create positive change. 

    On the bright side, once we become aware that our choices have a profound impact, our fashion sense begins to change. Throughout the series, we have shared several tips for practicing ethical fashion:

    1. Ask yourself these important questions: Who made this? What is this made of? Where was this made and where will it go? 
    2. Choose fair trade brands that are transparent about their supply chain and clothes made of plant-based fibers, such as organic cotton, linen, bamboo and hemp, and avoid clothes that must be washed separately or with special features, like “wrinkle-free” or “dirt-repellant.” 
    3. Buy up-cycled, used and vintage clothing that is often stripped of irritants over time and wear and is best kept out of the billion-pound pile of textiles that are disposed of each year. 
    4. For further ideas and conversation, connect with local, reputable retailers that offer ethical fashion and gear. Open Way Yoga is now operating in Huron, Norwalk (January 6th!) and Sandusky and we offer up-cycled items, as well as eco-conscious lines like Synergy, Green Apple and Manduka

    “Ethical fashion is about more than just clothing, it is casting a vote for the type of future you want for the world and the people who live on it.” –Synergy Organic Clothing 

    We may not have the power to save the world, but we do have the power to prioritize our values—Health, Humanity, Environment—and spend our money in that direction. When we invest in ethical fashion availability grows, the clothing becomes more affordable and the market rises to meet our expectations.

    We have the power to demand better. 

    by Elisabewth Sowecke

    Part 1 of 5:  Introduction to Ethical Fashion: What and Why
    Part 2 of 5:  Ethical Fashion Part 2:  Eco-Fashion for the Body
    Part 3 of 5:  Ethical Fashion Part 3:  Fashion for Humanity
    Part 4 of 5:  Ethical Fashion Part 4:  Fashion for the Environment

    Up-cycled OWY Print by Brian (Currently for sale in Sandusky Studio)