Traditionally, apparel purchasing decisions have depended predominantly on price, quality, style, brand reputation, and fabric. In the last 10 to 15 years, consumers have become more aware of the realities of the clothing they wear and may believe anything bearing the Fair Trade label is ethically made.

The growth in ethical apparel is being driven by consumer demand for fairly produced and sustainable goods. The data analysis group Mintel reports that the ethical clothing market is now worth $288 million, with increasingly stylish designs of fairly produced apparel and a growing awareness of production. The demand for ethical clothing has been increasingly met by independent stores and a growing number of major upscale retailers and supermarkets. Among the many apparel retailers, Patagonia (an outdoor clothing company) ...

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