Fashion is Modern Slavery

Fashion shouldn’t be a way to destroy our planet or cost people their lives. But this is exactly what’s happening today. Globalization, fast-fashion, economies of size, social media, and offshore production has created a perfect hurricane for cheap and easy fashion. There are no signs that this trend will slow down. Clothing production has almost doubled over the past 15 years.

Fashion lovers should reflect on the negative impacts of their consumption on both people and planet.

Fashion is riddled with gender inequality and environmental degradation – all of which are interconnected. Fashion Revolution campaign was launched because the fashion industry did not respond to the tragedies in clothing manufacturing, like when 1,138 garment workers died in Dhaka on April 24, 2013.

Inequalities are prevalent in fashion production. Shutterstock

Fashion Revolution is a campaign that aims to raise awareness of these injustices. It does this by highlighting those who are behind the clothes we wear.

Fashion: Modern slavery is labour intensive

Fashion is one of the most labor-intensive industries. It directly provides employment to at least 60 million people.

The second largest employer in the Global South is handicraft artisans. India has around 34 million artisans. The overwhelming of these artisans and the majority of today’s garment workers are women. According to the Global Slavery Index, 40 million people live in modern slavery. Many of them are from the Global South and work in western clothing brands’ supply chains.

Modern slavery is not defined by law. ” it includes a number of legal concepts, including forced labour, forced marriages, slavery and slavery like practices, and human trafficking.

Advocacy organizations have identified fashion as one of the five industries most implicated in modern slavery. Fashion garments that are at risk of modern slavery were imported by G20 countries in the amount of $US127,7 billion. Canada is one of the 12 G20 nations that has not taken action to combat modern slavery.

Fashion Revolution is a campaign that highlights the work in the fashion industry. Fashion Revolution

Colonialism, environmental racism and gender inequality are all issues that must be addressed in order to combat climate change, gender equality, environmental degradation, and human rights violations. Fashion clothing is made by the poorest people in the world, who are also exploited for their cheap labour.

They are those who work long hours without being paid, and they return home to toxic waters from the factoriesThese workers suffer from diseases that are caused by living in areas that are highly polluted.

These “donations” destroy these communities by filling up their landfills and deteriorating local economies as local artisans and businesses cannot compete with the cheap prices of our discarded donations. These “donations”, which fill up landfills, destroy local economies and local businesses as they cannot compete with our cheap donations .

Transparency is the key to success

Transparency is essential for companies. Transparency is about openness, communication, and accountability. Transparency and accountability are essential for us as citizens of the planet.

We cannot afford to continue living the lifestyle that we are accustomed to. A report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation states that the fashion industry produces more than 53 million tonnes per year of fibre. More than 70% of this ends up on landfills or in bonfires, and less than 1% is used to create new clothing.

Fast fashion is often thrown away. New York Times Square, H&M Store, March 2016. Shutterstock

In less than a year, more than half the “fast fashion” produced is thrown away. Every second, a truckload of clothes is thrown away in the world.

In 15 years, the average number of wears a garment receives before it is no longer useful has dropped by 36 percent. The most popular fibre today is polyester. As a result, a half million tonnes of microfibres released from clothes are 16 more than microbeads in cosmetics. This contributes to ocean pollution.

You can start now by doing these five things

We can’t continue to exploit natural resources and chase the cheapest workers forever. The status quo is no longer acceptable. Here are five ways you can help create a more equitable and sustainable future.

Who made my clothes?

1. Ask the question: “Who made my clothes?”

Ask questions, learn and act with awareness. Who made your clothing? How long will it take for this product to reach the end of its life span? How long will I use this product? Do I need it? What’s the material? Is the price a reflection of the time and effort that was put into making this product?

2. Wear what you’ve got

Do not throw away clothes, shoes or accessories. You can keep your clothes, shoes and accessories out of landfills by reusing, reselling, swapping, repairing, tailoring, donating, or handing them down. Can it be repaired? Tailored? The more you care for your clothing, the less emissions we produce.

3. Discover alternative ways to look fashionable

Buy vintage, rent, resell or reuse, swap, repair and tailor, or share. Consider the impact that you wish to have and whether you are able to sustain it. E.g. Reduce the use of plastic, reduce animal products and support local businesses.

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