Today I’m here to ask a few hard questions. I know how important it is for us to look good, be dressed up well, have a nice hair style, makeup and turn heads on the street. Considering that my blog is a modern women lifestyle booklet, I’d like to ask you if you’re responsible in your choice of fashion and lifestyle.
Do you only look for the best bargain on the market, or you are after quality first? Do you prefer certain brands over others because of their policy or just because of the trend/price/advert, etc.?
Labour slavery in the name of fashion
It’s extremely difficult to be absolutely informed about which brand provides good work conditions and pays fair wages to its workers, but they are certain standards that should be covered. Let’s take Primark as a good recent example that has been everywhere in the news lately.
The amount of people, who’s first choice for shopping is Primark, is scaring me. Primark uses suppliers for producing its clothing. Every supplier has to meet certain standards and eventually get audits by the chain. That’s fine, sounds good when you reed it on the website.
But… have you ever asked yourself why those jeans cost only £8 full price? What about the material, the fabric, the model, the labour, the shipping costs, the huge department store maintenance?! It means that they’ve been made so many compromises on the way to your wardrobe.
“Pressure on Indian suppliers to deliver fast fashion at rock-bottom prices has made sweatshop labour inevitable,” said Simon McRae at War on Want. “Again and again, scandals exposing UK retailers exploiting garment workers underline that the public cannot trust stores to police themselves. It is high time the British government introduced regulation to stop this shameful abuse.”
There was a big scandal about the child labour investigation made back in 2008. Lots of protests took place and Primark said that it has sacked a few of its suppliers due to the low working standards. Then people forgot about the story and continued enjoying the low cost bargains thinking it’s all sorted now. But it wasn’t.
Until this year… when the worst came to happen – a whole building collapsed and killed hundreds of people. Now the shoppers woke up again asking the question “Is this how you give us a good bargain, oh that’s not fair!” Yes, it’s pretty ugly, but we could have thought about it earlier. These are the faces are those who sacrificed their lives in the name of fashion.
Yes, you can argue with me saying that the fashion industry provides them living. If there is no institution to regulate the work conditions though, it’s up to us to do so. If a brand forcing low-cost labour goes out of business, the standards will raise. We won’t stop shopping, but we have the right to choose and make a change. Brands with better policy will be able to make new factories.
I hope next time you walk pass one of those cheap shops, you’ll keep walking. There is no need big brands to spend hundreds and thousands to make campaigns to promote the Fair Trade standards. It doesn’t need that much. All it takes is a person to make a choice. A person like you and me.