The importance of ethical fashion
Why ethical fashion is important? I have already talked about Sustainability here showing transparency about my process and suppliers. Today I would like to address the importance of ethical clothing.
1. Child labour. Seems unbelievable that in 2019 we would see a sentence like that. However according to International Labour Organization there are approximately 170 million child labourers in the world. Many of them work within the fashion supply chain which requires low-skilled labour and some tasks are even better suited to children than adults. In cotton picking, employers prefer to hire children for their small fingers, which do not damage the crop.
2. Modern Slavery. The fashion industry is one of the biggest resposible for forced labour. According to Anti-slavery Organization there are 9 million people in this situation. They are forced to work against their will under the threat of some form of punishment, violence, exploitation, verbal and physical abuse.
3. Hazardous workplace. This is the story of the Rana Plaza collapse, killing more than a thousand of people and injured many more. It could had been avoid if health and safety policies were applied.
4. Equal pay. Approximately 75 million people work to make our clothes. 80% of them are women between the ages of 18 and 35. In Pakistan, men working in the garment industry are paid 66.5% more than women according to International Labour Organization.
5. Our Planet. One of the consequences of fast fashion is that much of it ended up in the landfill. As stated by Fashion Revolution, 150 billion items of clothing are delivered out of factories annually yet Americans alone throw away approximately 14 million tonnes of garments each year, that’s over 36 kg per person. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 84% of unwanted clothes in the United States in 2012 went into either a landfill or an incinerator.
There is no magic formula. We live in a capitalist economy; companies must profit in order to succeed. The result of that is reducing costs of production by exploring people and our planet.
We need to change this situation! We need to buy less, buy better and ask for a transparent supply chain. I will quote a Fashion revolution statement that I believe synthesize this matter very well:
“As citizens and consumers — our questions, our voices, our shopping habits can have the power to help change things for the better. We are the driver of trends. Every time we buy something, we’re voting with our wallet. When we speak, brands and governments listen.”