Every garment has a story: from the farmer who plants the seed, the textile factory workers who clean the cotton, make yarns, knit fabrics, dye them, then send it over to garment factories where more workers involved in cutting and sewing it into the finished garment, before it sent to the shops, where it finally reaches the consumer. A very long chain indeed, with so many people involved, in production of one seemingly simple t-shirt. It takes time, effort, and resources for which these people can expect to be adequately rewarded. Unfortunately, however, once you take a closer look at the garment industry, this does not necessarily transpires to be the case.
While most of the consumer products increase in price over the years, surprisingly, clothes become cheaper, and more affordable. So how is this possible, where these cuts are made?
This question was hardly discussed in press or public domain, until… 2 year ago a disaster struck – a garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh, killing 1127 people, mainly female workers, who were making clothes for the UK high street brands. In the wake of this worst disaster in the history of the garment industry, millions of people became aware, and started questions the conditions our clothes are made in.
Millions of workers around the world, mainly women, suffer poverty wages and exploitation producing cheap fashion for our consumption. This can’t go on. We strongly believe that no one should live in poverty for the price of a cheap t-shirt, let alone suffer or die, while producing clothes each of us already have an abundance of in our closets.
Ending the exploitation is a big job – change won’t come overnight. But it is also a necessary one. Together we can end the injustice of sweatshops, and ensure the dignity of workers everywhere. As parents, we believe, we have responsibility educating and ensuring our children do not contribute further to the problem, but, rather, become part of the solution.
This is why we set up EcoOutfitters, committing ourselves to providing school uniforms, the most permanent items of our children’s clothing, that are made ethically and sustainably, at the GOTS certified, socially compliant factories, which guarantee the following ethical production criteria for their workers:
- They’re paid a ‘living wage’, not the ‘minimum wage’
- Working hours are not excessive
- Employment is freely chosen
- Working conditions are safe and hygienic
- Child labour is prohibited
- No discrimination is practised
- Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining are respected
- Regular employment is provided
- Harsh or inhumane treatment is prohibited
The power of consumer is a lot stronger than many of us realise. Lets make a difference by choosing ethically produced garments. Together we can demand a garment industry that respects the rights of workers everywhere.
Irina & Marina