Do Modern Day Slaves Make Your Clothes?
“It isn’t enough just looking for quality in the products we buy; we must ensure that there is quality in the lives of the people who make them.” – Orsola De Castro, Co-Founder of Fashion Revolution Day.
Since production has started on our ethical standards clothing label, which we are producing in Australia, I have had a lot of readers thanking me for the reminder for them to think twice when they are buying clothes and I am not talking about the price. They now check the quality of the fabrics and whether they are cheap polyesters (which many designers use inexpensive products) or natural and breathable fibres, and whether the clothes are made with ethical standards behind their production.
But readers have also asked me how to research brands to see if they are ensuring the quality in the lives of the people who make them.
A rule of thumb I read on Instagram lately, which I loved was:
“If your coffee costs more than your underwear, you are not caring about the environment or the people making them.”
Firstly, check the brand's website to see if they have a sustainability report. We do this before purchasing any natural fabrics for our label and also check this out with our production teams, which are all in Australia.
“The future depends on what we do in the present.” – Mahatma Gandhi.
Then, before you purchase anything, ask yourself the following questions:
Do you really need it?
How was it made?
Who made it?
Where will it go when you’re done with it?
The last question is another reason we are producing investment style pieces you will own for years, not fashion items you toss out after one season. This is better for you and better for the environment.
“It is time we care about the people behind the products we buy, not just the products themselves.” – Grace Forrest – Walk Free Foundation Co-Founder.
According to the Global Slavery Index 2018, the fashion industry is one of the biggest drivers of modern slavery. G20 countries import over $US354 billion worth of clothes and accessories at risk of being tainted by modern slavery, second only to laptops/computers/mobile devices.
Checking brands ethical standards and asking yourself the questions above is the new way of thinking when it comes to buying clothes. If you don’t do this already, start now and tell all your family and friends to do the same; it is ever so critical that as many people as possible start thinking and shopping this way because our future depends on it.
Let’s all work together to stop buying fast fashion. It feels fabulous to dress each day knowing you are doing your little part in looking after the people making it, and our environment.
We love being able to work with and visit our pattern makers, fabric suppliers and production team, who all work ethically in the industry and we know all employees are not the modern day slaves of fast fashion brands.
Carolyn Rowland is a qualified NLP Master Therapist, Advanced Practitioner of Matrix Therapies, Time Line Therapist, Practitioner of Hypnotherapy, has a Diploma for Business and Life Coaching and A Professional Image Stylist. Carolyn is happily married to her husband Simon, and raised four beautiful children, who are now young adults and a teenager.