Educate yourself on the complexities of global fashion supply chains and their impact on the people involved in them. In this section, you will find a compilation of information to illustrate how fashion supply chains work and the extent of the risks and challenges it creates for individuals employed within the fashion supply chain worldwide. You will also discover ways to ignite positive changes as individuals.
The production of materials and clothes are the two sections where most worker's rights and human rights violations occur due to the amount of human power required during both stages. The following section will focus on the production of clothes from pattern making, sewing to knitting within fashion supply chains to discuss how illegal subcontracted tiering plays a role in exploitation and human rights violation.
Understand your clothes, understand their production.
Ones that care...
A study conducted by Transform Trade and the University of Aberdeen has revealed the unethical purchasing practices of major fashion brands like H&M, Gap, Next, Primark, and Zara, all members of The Ethical Trading Initiative . These brands are found to pay Bangladeshi factories below the cost of production, leaving nearly 20% of factories unable to pay the minimum wage. The more prominent brands, buying from multiple factories, are the worst offenders. Such practices lead to workers facing bullying, unpaid overtime, and being fired and rehired on worse pay and conditions. Voluntary agreements like The Ethical Trading Initiative are insufficient, and a fashion watchdog is required to ensure accountability, enforcement, and fines for fair treatment of workers. The supply chain can deliver good working conditions only when factories and workers are treated ethically and fairly. Many small and medium-sized enterprises have successfully set up and run their businesses around ethical and sustainable manufacturing. However, massive corporations, even those part of The Ethical Trading Initiative, do not bother.
Here is how two UK-based small and medium-sized fashion brands ensure their supply chain stays fair.
It's time to take action.
It is an option to contact your local Members of Parliament and let them know this issue is important to you. You can express your concern and support for much needed fashion supply chain regulations. Your voice matters, and your advocacy can help create positive change in the garment industry from the bottom up.
Don't hesitate to reach out and make your voice heard.