Did you know that 80% of garment workers are young women? And that most earn less than $3 per day despite working 60+ hours per week in hazardous, predatory, and discriminatory environments?
When young women need employment to sustain themselves and their families and fast fashion companies need cheap labor and quick production, an inherently toxic environment is created. The 2013 Dhaka garment factory collapse (also known as the collapse of Rana Plaza) caused 1,134 people to lose their lives when their factory fell to the ground after years of disrepair and overcrowding. Many fast fashion labels were found inside.
To make matters even worse, when the coronavirus pandemic caused stores to close their doors, brands canceled over $3 billion worth of orders from factories according to the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association. This affected over 2 million workers, many of whom were underpaid or laid off as a result.
Avoiding fast fashion and paying attention to where your clothing is made is a great way to help prevent the exploitation of women. It is possible to vote with your dollar if you choose to support brands who are transparent about their manufacturing processes and ensure a living wage for their workers.
However, the future of fashion relies on brands to make the change. It’s why we chose to have our products certified Fairtrade; so you can have the peace of mind knowing what you wear was made ethically.
Being Fairtrade certified means:
- Fairtrade can support workers to realize their rights and negotiate the terms and conditions of their work through trade unions and collective bargaining
- Fairtrade provides producer support and expertise in deepening gender equality
- The Fairtrade premium means funds are reinvested in the community, creating better opportunities for education, housing, and medical facilities for generations to come
And, this International Women’s Day, that’s something to celebrate.