Other than being the world’s second most polluting industry after oil drilling, the fast fashion industry is also infamous for social injustice towards its working community.
Sweatshops, Child labor, Physical abuse, Inhumane working environment, you name it- They might sound like some stories of the past when in reality these issues are closer to our lives than we could imagine. If we all could open our wardrobes right now, take a close look at the clothes we owned, and ask “Who made all these clothes?” Chances are that some of these clothes we bought from our favorite stores are made by abused women in India or even underpaid children in Bangladesh.
It’s not our fault that we enjoy filling our closets with these trendy yet affordable items because we simply were never told about how they were made; most big brands did such an excellent job in hiding the unethical truth behind their supply chain. However, what we all must be aware of is that the true cost of our clothes is much higher than what we paid for, sometimes as high as our fellow human’s lives and well-being. Decent work and life in dignity are still far from reality for the vast majority of workers and their families in the garment industry. Behind the labels of some of our favorite brands, lie the issues with labor exploitation and occupational safety.
Some un-pretty numbers behind our pretty clothes:
In India alone, there are more than 3 million women working in the so-called “Sweatshops”. They work 14 hours a day, just to get paid $1/day (30 Baht/day) by these “Multi-Million dollar fast fashion brands.” They are working under an inhumane working environment with poor ventilation and sometimes are beaten up when they failed to deliver.
And a noteworthy event:
Several years back, One factory of a very well-known clothing brands in Bangladesh collapsed due to poor building quality, resulting in at least 1,132 death and 2,500 injury of workers. None of the workers and their families received justice after the incident. Since that day, no more than 109 accidents have occurred in the absence of safety control in these factories. The photos of the incidents are so heartbroken that I do not want to attach them here.
Stop purchasing fast fashions might not be the option for many us out there and it’s understandable. However, the least we can do is to be aware, to speak on the behalf of those without the opportunity to, and to make our voice be heard by the fashion brands out there.
Together we can fight unethical fashion and change the way our clothes are made. We can make your voices be heard by the fast fashion industry by asking our favorite brands #whomademyclothes.