I was looking through Reuters most powerful images of 2013 yesterday. There's a lot of disturbing content there, truth be told, but the one that I keep thinking about involved the Bangladeshi garment factory collapse. I won't go into details but you can see it here, if you would like to. Over 1000 people died and despite being a $10 billion industry, conditions for workers are deadly.
Because I have been thinking about this a lot, I realised that I really want to know more about companies who are looking after their workers, in terms of fair pay and conditions. I am guessing you have been thinking about this too... Perhaps you are well informed about this issue already? Or perhaps you'd like to know more?
I did a bit of research and found some local labels are getting serious about looking after the people who make their clothes. (That said locally made does not always mean ethically made.) If in doubt go here to see a great list of 100% ethical local fashion labels. It's a big issue and people like us can make a big difference if we think before we buy...
I think it's great that the Alliance For Bangladesh Workers and Bangladesh Worker Safety Accord have been established, but I am a bit worried about them walking the walk. (I think sometimes these organisations can be very slow and just talk the talk, but we will see how it plays out!)
The Social Studio
A Part Of Me
Otto and Spike
Ginger and Smart
Three Little Ducks
Scanlan and Theodore
Fare Well Co
Here's some things I am going to try to do from now on:
1. Stop buying from unethical labels, fast fashion companies and cheap online retailers (some of my very faves don't seem to be very ethical!)
2. Wear more vintage and second-hand clothes
3. Buy less OR buy from the maker
4. Make more (and find out more about sustainable fabrics)
How do you feel about this? Does it bug you that some REALLY COOL fashion labels (some MUCH loved indie faves) don't seem to have a policy about ethical production? Are you torn between buying cheap clothing and doing what's best for vulnerable garment workers? It's confusing, right?
Can you recommend any other fair fashion labels that we might want to support?
Footnote: One of the many reasons we closed our shop was that we couldn't survive without the larger margins we got from retailing 'made in China' items. Those items ensured our survival, as the profits on handmade items were not enough to sustain us. In the end we just didn't want to do that anymore. So we stopped. And we closed.
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