We strongly support the Blog Action Day initiative and invite you to sign up to the 1% Campaign Petition; a demand that multinationals take responsibility for what happens in their name. Who is it to blame consumers or the fashion industry? The founder of Blog Action Day Fashion Mob Esther Freeman, explains why it’s dangerous to point the finger of blame at consumers for human rights abuses by the fashion industry. Since the collapse of the Rama Plaza building in Bangladesh, the media has been full of discussions and head-scratching about fashion. One comment that keeps coming up is the responsibility of consumers around fast fashion. Quite frankly, this is nonsense. Furthermore, it is dangerous to suggest so.
The Apparel Truth
All too often high street chains whine about how hard it is for them to improve human rights, and how they’d change, but consumers don’t want it. It’s become their get-out clause. And by saying consumers have a responsibility, we reinforce that myth. It also overlooks that slavery; poverty and disaster happen at the higher end of the fashion too. There have been several campaigns against Adidas and their refusal to compensate workers and pay a living wage. And designer brands like Dolce & Gabbana have been in the firing line as well. In an interview for the film Apparel Truth, a trade union leader in Bangladesh is very clear where the responsibility lies. He said: “The main profit from this business is going to the multinational company…The multinational company is putting pressure on the local business to pay a living wage. However, also the multinational company is putting pressure on the local business to reduce its price.” So let’s point the finger where it should be– at the global brands who create human rights abuses as fast as they create fashion.
That’s not to say consumers have no role to play in creating change.
People power is incredibly important. That’s why we launched The 1% Campaign. The campaign calls on the fashion industry to invest 1% of their profits in solving issues in their supply chain, especially around human rights. We need more time and investment in activities like better auditing, health and safety training and improved working with NGOs and trade unions at a local level. Consumers are in a dominant position to demand this. And if we all work together, we can help bring about a solution. >> sign the 1% Campaign petition and demand that multinationals take responsibility for what happens in their name.
Recommended post in the archive is about the future of sustainable fashion design, and the tragedy happened earlier 2012/ 2013 Bangladesh. Quote; “
After the last months, tragic happenings in the textile industry were several hundreds of people in Bangladesh lost his or her life due to the race to produce textile or fashion garment to the lowest price possible. Bangladesh’s workers who sew clothes for Western consumers are among the lowest paid in the industry anywhere in the world. It is about time to raise questions about business ethics, corporate responsibility, and how companies work with sustainable philosophy & ethics in the twenty-first century.”