I want to kick off this 1st publication of 21 with an eye opener because 21 is special and the number 21 connects with what I want to talk about – 21 days is what it takes to unlearn a habit. So I thought this might be a perfect timing to start 21 with good intentions and unlearn overconsuming clothes – instead making more responsible & sustainable fashion choices.
To do so we first must understand the social & economical issues of the fashion industry – the 2nd biggest polluting industry in the world – depleting natural resources – releasing toxic chemicals – adding greenhouse gaz emissions – and responsible for an incredible amount of waste. People are buying clothes faster, more often and less expensive – producing more & more cheap clothes at an increased rate creates a negative impact on the environment. And let’s not ignore the social ( people related ) issues which I want to bring to your attention :
Working hours in the fast fashion industry is a major concern.
Wages are so low that workers are forced to work excessive hours to meet the ends – it’s a direct result of the short turnaround times within the supply chain.
Casual labour & homeworking practices
People are working with no formal contract & little or no access to benefits – they are being exploited and trapped in a cycle of poverty.
Millions of people working in the textile sector are paid at poverty-level rates – the legal min. wages are too low to meet basic needs and afford a decent standard of living.
Health & safety
Failure to adhere to a min. of safety measures in many garment supply chains (Rana Plaza factory fire in April 2013 killing 1134 garment workers in Bangladesh) – carrying heavy loads during cotton harvesting & transportation, inhalaton of dust or fibres, exposure to harmful chemicals during dying/printing/finishing process, excessive noise/heat in the workplace, lack of protective clothing and failure to adhere to building safety regulations.
Harassment & abuse in the workplace
Remains the daily reality for many garment workers in the world – workers are afraid to report & laws are not properly enforced.
Freedom of association & right to collective bargaining
Employers refusing trade unions and workers rights organization to defend & organize the workers’ right.
Let’s not close our eyes for these realities which are still common practice in some parts of the world.
My next blog will talk about the environmental issues.
If you feel connected with what I’m passionate about – follow me @Wear_It_Slowly.
Stay safe !
e-mail address Patricia Lux :firstname.lastname@example.org
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Patricia Lux – born & raised in Brussels and always lived there, now with my soul mate & teenage daughter.
Brussels my cosmopolitan, but cosy & charming at the same time – the combination of both makes it an interesting & human place. I like the authenticity of the city center and the dynamic & cultural diversity of the suburbs. I’m always in for something new or atypical with a particular focus on lifestyle & travel.
For many years my focus was on leading successfully global HR projects in a multi-national. At some point, I lost connection with what I was doing and I knew it was time to turn the page. I decided to step out of my comfort zone and engage in a campaign against fast fashion to create a positive impact.