The "ethical" future

When you hear the term, “ethical living”, what comes to mind first? Sustainability. Equality. Morality. Over time, such values have gained momentous traction and have been readily championed and endeavored across the many sectors of contemporary society. We might often see them as “buzz words” and deservedly so, as they are central towards paving a more inclusive, ethical, and brighter community to live in for present and future generations alike. 

When it comes to the fashion industry, some key (and popular) areas of focus include the adoption of eco-friendly material, local and handmade manufacturing, and fair treatment to workers. Such action not only contributes to sustainable development, but to the protection of basic human rights as well. Oftentimes, ethical fashion may hold an arbitrary or blanket meaning and particularly, environmental perspectives are often brought to light first. What we recognise, however, are the numerous branches of ethical fashion that can be tapped into and evolved for the betterment of society. 

We, 1001 Stories, are rooted in the realm of social impact. We believe that ethical fashion (and ethics in general) should be reflective of the sentiments and targets held by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals - or at least, a selected few of them. Whether it’s reducing poverty and closing the inequality gap by uplifting marginalized communities or producing responsibly, there are a myriad of ways in which businesses (and individuals) can cultivate a healthier society - even at the micro, industrial level.

More importantly, ethical living must be embedded into the functioning of everyday life. Only then can it be the future for humanity. With digital technology on the rise, there is increasingly great potential to redefine the standards of ethical living using innovative strategies; one example would by finding a sustainable approach to reap the benefits of artificial intelligence. On the other hand, however, such technologies pose a crucial risk that threatens the current climate of ethics. While digital tools may introduce solutions to mitigate existing problems, they may (most likely) simultaneously introduce new, unprecedented risks. Organizations must implement “checks and balances” to steer new suggestions in the right direction to avoid negative externalities, which would inevitably cause disruption politically, socio-economically, and environmentally. On a personal agenda, each and every of us can continue to learn about what constitutes an “ethical lifestyle”, grow conscious of the problems facing the world (as they emerge), and finally, exchange reactivity for pro-activity.

Collectively, we can inspire a better world with greater levels of equality and sustainability, whether it’s within the next few years or the next 10 years. But first, we must understand the past, present, and future outlook of ethical living and let that act as a guiding force through this generation of change. Global issues such as climate change have flooded across humanity for decades, yet continue to proliferate and affect the way we live, breathe and hope. We, as stakeholders, have a role in breaking past the crossroads and instead, choosing the optimal pathway for a better future.