What is Sustainability? Chapter Two

Posted: Apr 22 2015

The Manufacturing Process. 

This topic is one of the most interesting. Not because of what it contains, but because of what people seem to think or feel about it. Many people (both inside and outside the fashion industry) seem to think it's "not as bad" as it is be perceived. But sadly it is the opposite....it is WORSE than people are showing, because most of the worst is not allowed to be documented. What they show you is not as bad as it gets. And frankly, that is frightening. 

This article could not have come at a better time, because Friday, April 24th is Fashion Revolution day. What is this day you ask? Well it is the anniversary of the Rana Plaza Factory collapse in Bangladesh.  http://www.globallabourrights.org/campaigns/factory-collapse-in-bangladesh

This horror came from a factory that is not unlike many overseas. Countries that have terrible labour laws and minimum wage at .32 cents a day are a dime a dozen. Many say "oh its not that bad", but frankly it is. And why is it that bad? Because on our end, we want to only pay 4$ for a shirt. "Ah such a steal and only $12.50!" but you have to wonder how on earth, a large scale company that employees thousands of people can get a shirt AND make a profit on $12.50 retail. 

http://www.aftenposten.no/webtv/#!/kategori/10514/sweatshop-deadly-fashion

Many videos have surfaced these days that show bloggers watching videos of people making the clothes they model. A new series called Sweatshop (link above) has come up where it shows a full documentation of Norwegian bloggers going to live the lives of these workers. And these are not even the worst conditions to be in. These are people who deal with physical and mental conditions to make hardly enough money to live and feed themselves, and this it something we promote. We promote this buy purchasing cheap, throw away clothing, by accepting that "thats the way it is" and most importantly, by not asking questions. 

What are we asking of you? Do we think all these factories should be shut down and everyone should be out of a job? NOPE. By creating a demand for better conditions and better pay these factories will have no choice but to readjust how THEY do business and how the workers are treated. We think that the consumer who is feeding this broken system (THATS US) needs to adjust how they live. Whats that you say? Me? Adjust? Well I never! (is that what you just thought? Its ok if you did, most do.) BUT now we have to change that attitude! And here is how:

1) Research companies and what they stand for. "Oh we have a code of ethics that the factories have to sign." THIS MEANS NADDA. If companies don't look into this then its useless, and frankly who wouldn't sign a contract that won't ever be looked into? DEMAND SPECIFICS....if they have nothing to hide then they can answer easy. (We can at least...ask us....we know!) 

2) Buy smart! This means make sure what you are buying not only follows the ethical code of how you think people should be treated, but also that the clothing is being made in a way that shows quality. Quality is not a 10 wash throw away or a one season top, quality is something that can be worn time and time again without falling apart. That means it lasts you long and it also means you will.....

3) BUY LESS! Yes that is the last part! "Well a shirt cost $100, I won't pay that!" But you will pay $20 for 5 shirts that last you three months and then have to buy 5 more shirts at $20 because the last ones fell apart? See what we did there with the math? 

Buy less, buy smart and demand answers. And this Fashion Revolution Day April 24, show your label and ask where your clothes were made.