First we have to come to terms with the inescapable fact that the apparel industry in all its forms is the single largest producer of water borne pollution on earth. Next we have to understand that as one of the biggest employers of workers in the world, the apparel industry lags far behind in its treatment of workers, meaning that millions, literally, are toiling in substandard factories, in dangerous conditions, for a pittance.
Now its not a reasonable assumption that all of us have the time or the fortitude to seek out detailed information about the treatment of garment workers for every brand of clothing, and every accessory we wish to purchase. That's just not feasible. So we are left with a moral conundrum. If we purchase items produced by manufacturers who routinely mal-treat their staff, then we are tacitly giving support to those business owners, and without saying it outright, agreeing to their misdeeds. If, however we do not support those businesses by our purchasing power, then those very people who we have concern for will likely go without work at all.
While this situation is beginning to change somewhat, it has very far to go before the garment workers of the world are treated even adequately well.
From where I stand it looks like the wisest choice is to buy quality, and buy less of it. I know that my own wardrobe is more than half composed of thrifted clothing, and a good deal is things I've made myself. So I try to deal with this problem as I can. That said, the siren call of all those wonderful sartorial choices is a hard one to resist.
I would very much like to hear your thoughts on these messy issues. Who knows? We might together find some answers that work.