Most of the garments worn today are manufactured to please your pocket, but at a high cost for those who make it.
Most garment workers are still forced to live in slums, unable to earn enough to support their families – even on the +100 hours overtime generally required from them to ensure the demand for the latest fashion is met.
Many workers earn less than 25% of the wage needed to support a family’s basic needs. To obtain a fair living wage they need to negotiate a 400% wage increase. It would take a revolution to negotiate such a high increase, particularly in countries where strikes are met with police intimidation and brutality. Yet brands can make a fair living wage a reality by investing in the extra cost themselves.
And in case you were wondering whether you could afford clothes made on a fair living wage, a 400% increase in a garment workers pay would mean that you and I would pay an extra 60p for an item currently priced at £29. That 60p would give a family access to decent food, housing, sanitation, healthcare and education.
Chemicals and dyes used in fashion have polluted waterways all over the world. There are villages who know the colour trends of our clothes in advance because their rivers are saturated in that colour of dye. In addition, fashion is a thirsty industry and China is currently suffering a severe water shortage as a result of industriously satisfying our demand for dyed garments.
Chemicals and pesticides used in growing fibres, (especially cotton), and the process of transforming fibres into clothing cause cancers, leukaemia, allergies and shorten the life span of both garment workers and garment wearers. No-one should have to die to produce our clothes.
Many garments in the West are worn once, if at all, before ending up in landfill where it sits forever. It does not biodegrade or disappear. Not only do we not appreciate the workers who make our clothes, we do not even appreciate the clothes they make.
It’s Our Choice
We live in a time when we can all have a huge impact in eradicating slave labour, poverty and ill-health simply by our spending choices.
We do not have to buy into products that result in slave labour, poverty and ill-health.
We have made the choice to manufacture all our garments ethically:
- rewarding the remarkable skills of our garment workers with a wage that values their work and enables them to live at least to the standard considered a minimum in the UK;
- all our garments are designed for longevity, favourites that last, to encourage the wearer to treasure them forever;
- chemicals and pesticides are not welcome in our manufacturing process and we use organic fibres and yarns or other sustainable materials wherever possible and an infrastructure that will produce sustainable materials and garments locally is currently in development;
- we use unwanted and salvaged fabrics in some of our collections and all materials are optimised and waste minimised during the making of garments, with scraps saved for potential future designs or accessories;
- all our garments are made with tlc as we believe that it is passed on into the garment, making both garment and the wearer feel cared for and appreciated.