Do Ethical Workplaces Exist In The Fashion Industry?

They say you are what you wear.

But we say you are what you wear after consciously processing how much effort goes into the process of making it and how much damage a single dress creates to the planet.

Have you ever wondered how much contribution each of us has in global warming, child labour, and wages below the equilibrium?

Unfortunately, a lot more than you have ever wondered.

What is Hiding Behind One of the Most Sizzling Industries – The Fashion Industry?

The fashion industry revolves around the law of demand and supply. The higher the consumers buy a product, the greater its production will be. So as a consumer, you need to dig into the details of how your goods are manufactured and who is behind the scenes.

You must be wondering what difference it would make.

Remember! From selecting an educational institute to buying a dress from any brand, we are responsible for our life choices and the consequences of these choices on our environment.

Buying from popular and huge brands that are producing mass clothing without considering the effect of such products on the environment are the real culprits. However, consumers supporting them by buying their goods, knowingly or unknowingly, have an equal contribution.

Like all that glitters is not gold, the fashion industry is also not as glamorous as it may apparently seem and has numerous skeletons in its closet.

Let’s uncover the truth behind this mighty industry and its manufacturers so that you would be able to step into it being an informed consumer.

Ethical Aspects at Workplaces in Fashion Industry- From Where it Begins

The collapse of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh on April 24th, 2013, stood out as an eye-opener for the world. Rana Plaza was a huge building in Dhaka, housing five different textile and garment factories.

More than 2500 workers got injured in the incident, while approximately 1,132 lost their precious life, leaving thousands of families mourning behind. People have not even recovered from the aftermath of the incident when another shocking industrial accident happened at Tazreen fashion factory located on the outskirts of Dhaka.

One hundred twelve factory workers were trapped inside the factory when the fire outbreak happened, costing the workers their lives and irreparable loss to their unfortunate families.

These two most tragic incidents in the history of the fashion industry instigated others to check the condition of poor labourers exposed to unsafe, dangerous, and unethical working environments and various occupational diseases.

The Fashion Revolution Movement

As a response to devastating tragedies, a revolution arose around the globe demanding to be more informed regarding the sourcing, production, manufacturing, and consumption of clothes.

Have you ever seen #WhoMadeMyClothes written somewhere and overlooked it by thinking of it as just another hashtag?

This powerful hashtag is another representation of the famous fashion revolution. Over the years, the revolutionary movement attracted so many buyers, especially after renowned celebrities started supporting it. 

Remembering the poor souls who lost their lives in the terrible incidents, Fashion Revolution Week is celebrated every 23rd to 28th April. People use the hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes to create awareness amongst consumers.

During the week, the movement icons call brands to be more transparent in front of their consumers and let them know their supply chain policies.

The revolution is bringing about positive changes in the fashion industry. A 5% increase in transparency across ninety-eight eminent brands has been recorded; however, there is still a long way to go.

“As consumers we have so much power by just being careful in what we buy”

– Emma Watson

The gap between making an informed choice and supporting brands that provide ethical workplaces to the employees can only be covered once you know the details of the damage the fast fashion industry causes to the environment.

Fast Fashion Industry v/s Slow Fashion Industry

Questioning the Fast fashion industry means losing convenience, criminally low prices, glamorous fashion lines coming out every week, and buying heaps and heaps of clothes with just one click.

Fast fashion is becoming detrimental for mother earth due to the number of landfills that are being dumped here and there and because of the emission of greenhouse gases.

This fashion model has convinced consumers to spend quite a fortune on clothing. Retail stores have started featuring more than ten fashion lines annually, restricted to four seasonal stocks.

The ever-changing fashion kicks out the concept of recycling clothes. It opens doors for mass productions, creating a tremendous amount of textile waste and utilizing the resources in making clothes more than ever.

Do you think textile waste and harmful chemicals are the only problems?

Do not even get us started on the poor labour conditions. Massive production increases the demand for labour in the industry which paves the road for child labour. These labourers work tirelessly in the factories day and night to complete the orders pouring in from the shiny outside world.

On the other hand, the slow fashion industry utilizes locally sourced, biodegradable, and organic materials. Recycling clothes and other goods are the main mantras behind this model, making it the epitome of sustainable fashion.

The new collections in the slow fashion industry use leftover garments from the previous collection and refrain from buying fabric in bulks.

The slow fashion industry, in short, is a small industry advocating ethical workplaces by providing fair wages and avoiding misuse of the available resources.

Verdict

Since the fashion industry works on demand and supply rules, consumers have the power to bring an upside-down shift in the industry by choosing ethical fashion over what is in style.

A fashion that is kind to everyone – from farmers to labour – is not impacting the planet negatively.

So if you want to make this planet safer and healthier for upcoming generations, choose wisely!

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