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BBC Future

60 Second Idea

Create an ethical fashion brand

Each week a global thinker from the worlds of philosophy, science, psychology or the arts is given a minute to put forward a radical, inspiring or controversial idea – no matter how improbable – that they believe would change the world.

This week, British anthropologist Daniel Miller suggests creating a new ethical label for clothing.

“We easily forget the ethical issues associated with clothes - the exploitation of labour, pollution or over consumption of water in growing cotton.

Now it is said that energy efficient cars that made this very evident sold much better than similar cars that were discreet about their ethics.

So why not make use of the obvious visibility of clothes?

After all we now have internationally recognised regulatory bodies that can attest to fair trade products, organics, and sustainable production. They could initiate a new ethical label – the big E.

My guess is that most people that pay extra for ethical clothes are quite happy for people to know about this.

So instead of flaunting conventional brands, let’s give them an E – perhaps in green, emblazoned on lapels and pockets.

Brand E – I’m ethical and I’m proud of it.”

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You can listen to Daniel discuss his idea in more detail on the BBC World Service programme The Forum, where you can also download more sixty second ideas.