Have you ever thought about who made your clothings? Probably yes.
It’s been a week since the anniversary of the collapse of Rana Plaza in Dhaka Bangladesh, a factory complex that housed several garment factories that supplied clothes to European retailer. Over a thousand fashion workers died and thousands more were injured. Sadly, it was not the first and not the last but certainly brought the world’s attention to the issue of the misery of the people who made our clothes.
In the aftermath of the disaster, Bangladesh Accord, a legally binding safety pact created and signed by over 200 brands. In spite of its shortcoming, it was a turning point for the fashion industry. It was the first time, accountability establish in an industry that largelyself-regulated. Its transparent independent inspections improve the working conditions and health and safety standards swiftly. It also require the brands to financially participate in the improvement process.
Since then the list of brands that have signed the accord has continue to grow. The issues of fair wages and safe working conditions have become more and more important to the consumers too and want to know who made their clothings and if they are compensate for their work fairly. As a response to theirs demands, more brands are putting an effort.
That goes on to show how import our buying decisions as consumers are. When we purchase an item of clothing or an accessory, it’s not as simple as adding a new piece to our existing wardrobe. Tts voting for the brand and its ethics. It’s supporting their practices, good or bad. When you spend enough time to not just look at that jacket. Or dress you like but also how ethically it has been produced. You are voting for fair wages and safe working environment for those who made these beautiful pieces that will make you look stylish. And make you feel confident.
In our capitalistic societies, where it’s all about selling more, your single purchase decides whether those hands who produced your clothings will be able to feed their kids a decent meal when they go home from work or not. Will they feel safe at work or be forced to work in unhealthy conditions. It’s your decision and it’s your choice.
Things have changed a lot for better over the last decade, largely, thanks to the changing behavior of the consumers but there is still a long way to go. According to Business of Fashion, over 60 people have died and more than 600 injured in the clothings and textile factories around the world in 2022 alone. There must surely a lot more cases that did not get reported.
While it’s so important to make the right decision when purchasing a garment by keeping in mind. The ethical stand point of the brand and the steps. They are taking to ensure their policies are implemented. There are other things you can do to make an even bigger impact.
Organizations like Fashion Revolution play a vital role in being an advocate for those muffled voices. Founded in 2013, it has become the world’s largest fashion activism movement. Their vision is to create a global fashion industry that conserves. And restores the environment and values people over growth and profit.
Their latest initiative is “Good Clothes, Fair Pay” campaign that demands. Living wage legislation across the garment, textile and footwear sector. They need 1 million signatures from EU citizens to push for legislation. That requires companies to conduct living wage due diligence in their supply chains. They need a lot more signatures and every single one counts. It does not cost you a dime but your opinion really matters so we will urge you to not only sign it yourself. But also spread to your friends and everyone you know.
Let everyone know that we demand fair wages for those who make our clothings.
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