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JIF March Highlights

Updated: Apr 5

We have gathered all March highlights in this month's blog post for your convenience!

🟡 A Podcast 

Jennifer Wascak, JD, managing director of JIF, recently joined Illustro Consultancy Ltd's Let's Talk Modern Slavery podcast to discuss labour exploitation in Leicester, UK. In the podcast, Jennifer shared information about JIF's efforts to launch the first-ever community drop-in centre for Leicester workers.

🟡 A Research Study

What happened after the Boohoo Scandal? A Multi-Stakeholder Perspective of the Garment Industry in Leicester by Dr Nandita Dutta, Dr Pankhmi Agarwal, and Prof Vlvek Soundararajan, supported by Embed Dignity and the University of Bath.

"Many workers were relying on food banks because they could no longer afford groceries!"

The study, based on extensive fieldwork conducted from April to July 2023, highlights the need for comprehensive solutions that address the root causes of exploitation, including the practices of major fashion brands. 

Justice In Fashion (JIF) contributed to the study with the understanding we have gathered through advice clinics we've been leading in Leicester since 2020-2021. The study fieldwork revealed the harsh realities faced by workers post-factory closures, shedding light on the deeper issues of worker exploitation and modern slavery in the fast fashion industry. Despite efforts to combat exploitation, the loss of jobs, particularly during the pandemic, pushed many workers towards greater hardships, including reliance on food banks and acceptance of equally exploitative work elsewhere. 

Jennifer Wascak, JD, the Managing Director of Justice in Fashion, highlights the challenges faced by survivors of modern slavery with the following insightful words, cited directly from the research paper.

 "I don't think the term modern slavery means anything to the workers. Mostly, people just want to know whether they will be getting paid or not. But, occasionally, do we get somebody who feels like this isn't right, this shouldn't happen to me, and it shouldn't happen to other people. Rarely do you hear someone say that. Most of the time, it's just a matter of, 'How can I get what I need to survive?'. I don't think most people see themselves as victims of modern slavery".

JIF is proud to have contributed to this research through the strong community presence we have worked hard to build with Leicester factory workers. We highly encourage you to read more about the study and articles that have been published.

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