Don’t know? You should, but that isn’t necessarily your fault. Ethical clothing and transparency from clothing brands is something that is getting a lot of attention, especially since the horrific collapse of a Bangladesh factory in 2013 where over 1,000 factory workers died and an estimated 2,500 were injured. One of the many reasons why we as a consumer need to think twice about our next purchase and do some research.
Factory worker | AdobeStock Image
It is important for us to know that people just like you and me make our clothes, they have families to provide for and should be treated with the same level of respect that we expect in the work place. We can help make this happen by making sure we buy clothing from companies that are transparent, offering a fare living wage to their workers, a safe work environment and which don’t use child labour. There are many organisations out there fighting for these rights, pushing for transparency from major clothing companies and putting together information so you can buy ethically.
The Fashion Revolution is a great place to start, they are a social enterprise creating a global movement and I recommend following them on social media to see what they are up to and to get inspired. Tearfund NZ released an Ethical Fashion Guide in 2017, which you can download for free. It has a list of brands graded from A to F, this measures the effort that each brand has made to ensure that workers are not exploited. My personal favourite is the mobile app Good On You. They believe all brands should be transparent and that we as a customer have the right to know where and how our clothes are made. This app is easy to use, helping you search by brands and see how they rate for both people, the planet and animals. It allows you to shop by category, identify deals and keep update to date on new brand research.