When it comes to consciously shopping it seems the market is flooded with women’s clothing, jewellery ,shoes, bags, etc. There’s no shortage of what to find us ladies 🙂 So, with Father’s Day in the midst I want to make the men in our lives the highlight for a change!! Below are some great, guilt-free brands to find gift options for DAD!
Outdoor enthusiasts have all come to know and love Patagonia for what they stand for: high standards of fair labour and environemntal stewardship. The cherry on top is that many of their products are Fair Trade certified as well!
FRANK & OAK
A Canadian company and a certified B-Corp. Frank & Oak focus on various sustainability initiatives from utilizing eco-friendly fabric, packaging, bags, store design, and carbon off-setting shipping.
If you’re looking for classics that will last a lifetime this is your place. Todd Shelton focuses on a made-to-order model which epitomizes slow fashion. They help men of all ages stay current and maintain a consistent, professional identity through clothing. By leveraging timeless style and minimal design, Todd Shelton transforms your wardrobe into a cohesive team of garments that work together. They employ all of their workers directly in their factory in New Jersey.
If you’re looking for casual everyday finds with superior quality and sustainable fabrics, Outerknown has just the products for you! Amost all of the fibre they source are organic, recycled, or regenerated. Through Fair Trade USA, they invest in the livelihoods of over 5K workers. They also offer repair, replace, or recycle program to keep worn or torn jeans out of the landfills!
If looking for a new sustainable and ethically manufactured denim brand look no further than Outland Denim. They offer premium quality jeans using a high proportion of eco-friendly materials while ensuring sustainable employment and training opportunities to women who have been traffcked in Cambodia.
A great denim brand that ensures payment of a living wage for its workers and uses eco-friendly material throughout their collections.
NAE VEGAN SHOES
They are offering free shipping and returns worldwide. Nae utilizes a variety of eco vegan matierials such as Pinatex (pineapple leather), organic cotton, cork, and recycled PET. From sandals, sneakers, boots, shoes and belts, they have you covered!
This French sneaker brand is built on sustainability and fair trade. They are a certified B-Corp with extensive relationships with native rubber tappers in Brazil. For each kilo of harvested rubber in Veja’s supply chain, 1.2 hectares of forest is protected every year!
We are living in very strange times. Entering 2020 hopeful, with new 2020 visions, nobody could predict what was about to befall the global masses. With the outbreak of the corona virus and quarantines in place around the globe, economies are shattered, the stock exchange has plummeted, businesses struggling to survive, everyone can feel the effects of this global pandemic.
Some of the people deeply affected are the garment workers, who are amongst the most vulnerable workers in the global economy and have their livelihoods at risk as factories struggle to stay afloat. Factories rely heavily on imports of raw materials such as zippers, buttons, and fabric from China. The shortage of these raw materials puts a great strain on their operations. Consumers are also only spending on necessities right now and with the quarantine brick and mortar stores have had to close which puts a strain on brands. In Myanmar, 20 factories have been shut down forcing 10,000 workers into unemployment. Many owners have refused to compensate and instead are nowhere to be found. The question is what role should the fashion industry play in ensuring the 40 million garment workers in their supply chains get compensated as they risk falling into crippling poverty?
More than 1 million garment workers in Bangladesh already have lost their jobs or have been furloughed due to the over $2.8 billion in orders cancelled or put on hold as the COVID-19 crisis continues to worsen. This leaves the factory owners high and dry as many of these orders were completed and ready to ship and some had been partially completed where all the raw materials were purchased and paid for. According to a survey of 319 garment factory owners in Bangledesh, conducted by the Centre for Global Workers’ Rights (CGWR), “72.4% said they were unable to provide their workers with some income when furloughed (sent home temporarily), and 80.4% said they were unable to provide severance pay when order cancellations resulted in worker dismissals.” Most of these factories will not even fight this injustice for fear of losing big contracts when the pandemic is over. This is a cruel reality of just how severe the power imbalance is between big global brands and their suppliers. Typical contractual agreements leave suppliers vulnerable, as brands get to decide when products should be shipped and payment is not made until after the shipment has been made.
The governments should be putting controls in place to protect their garment industry workers as well. In Bangladesh, they had apparently urged factories not to cut jobs, however, that has not stopped many of them from laying off thousands of workers without any pay. They need to put stronger enforcement to ensure this doesn’t happen. These workers will not be finding other jobs right now to bring in money to their already impoverished households. This is a huge humanitarian crisis. The government has announced a $588 million package to help the crucial export sector pay its workers, but labor leaders say that this is not enough. These wealthy brands themselves need to step up and help out as well. These are the people making their clothes after all.
As the rest of the world stocks up their fridges and cupboards ensuring they will never miss a good meal or snack, millions of garment workers are left without the ability to put food on the table for their families. This is a time for brands to show their sense of humanity and find a way to pay for the work that has been done. The CGWR recommends that:
“The responsible approach is for brands and retailers to find ways to access lines of credits or other forms of government support to cover their obligations to supplier factories so that they can cover their expenses and pay their workers in order to avoid sending millions of workers home with no ability to put food on the table let alone cover medical expenses.”
It’s the right thing to do.
The CGWR outlines a list of brands that have committed to pay what they owe and the ones that have not. Below is a visual of these stats by @xrfashionaction.
The big 6 retailers outlined that have said they are committed to fulfilling payment on their orders already produced or in production include: H&M, Inditex (Zara, Massimo Dutti, etc), Target, French brand Kiabi, VF Corp (North Face) and PVH (Tommy Hillfiger). This is not a problem one brand can solve, but the collective commitment from all of these big retailers would make a huge impact on the lives of these vulnerable garment workers. The problem is, there is no situation in which suppliers have any leverage or recourse if brands don’t keep their end of a deal.
Many have said they won’t cancel orders, but that doesn’t mean they will pay either. That would mean they expect them to hold the order for now however, payment isn’t made until goods are shipped so ‘not cancelling orders’ does nothing to help the situation of the garment worker unless the factories are getting paid. There’s a lot of semantics around public verbiage that can seem like they are doing more than they are.
According to Vogue Business, “suppliers in Bangladesh and other manufacturing countries look with worry to the future as brands back down from the projections of orders they had given to factories. Suppliers understand that brands are facing unprecedented uncertainty about their own futures — but they have a much smaller financial cushion than brands and lack the safety net protections of government bailouts for businesses or social services for laid-off workers. They are calling on brands to extend their sense of responsibility to their full supply chains, rather than cutting it off at their own assets and employees.”
What are your thoughts on this topic? How do you think garment workers can best be protected during this corona virus pandemic? Who should be responsible? I would love to hear your thoughts on this, so please feel free to share your opinions below. Stay safe, stay home and keep healthy everyone 🙂
For over a century, International Women’s Day has been a significant force in unifying women globally to celebrate each other and collectively fight for their rights and freedoms. It seems like on the surface it’s the best time to be a woman so, what’s left to fight for? There is still so much work to be done. A gender pay gap still persists across the globe and women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics. Figures show that globally, women’s education, health and violence towards women is still worse than that of men. So, it’s important that women have this outlet to create awareness that these inequalities still exist and also to celebrate women and their achievements to keep pushing them forward and to raise each other up!
80% of garment workers globally are women. They are exploited on a daily basis. The fight for their rights and freedom is essentially a women’s issue. If women don’t lead this fight nobody else will. For this post, I want to celebrate some key women in the fashion industry that have been pivotal in the fight for fair labour and sustainability in fashion and who are so inspiring to me and many others.
Carry Somers is a fashion designer and the founder of Fashion Revolution Day. After the tragic Rana Plaza disaster of April 2013, she felt compelled to find a way that the victims of Rana Plaza and all the other tragedies that have occurred in the name of fashion will never be forgotten. Fashion Revolution Day would be the driving force to bring about real change in the industry. “On 24 April, people around the world, high street shops and high couture, cotton farmers and factory workers, and anyone who cares about what they wear – come together to call for change. It is a global platform which we can all use to ask questions, raise standards and set an industry-wide example of what better looks like. By celebrating best practice, we can change lives.” The Fashion Revolution Movement has grown to over 500 global partnerships, 118 policy makers engaged in 18 countries, 231 student embassadors in 22 countries, and 762k online following.
Safia Minney is an award-winning British social entrepreneur, the pioneer of fair trade and ethical fashion with her label People Tree and the founder of World Fairtrade Day. She is also the author of 9 books about sustainable and ethical fashion. People Tree is the first fashion company to be awarded the World Fair Trade Organization product label. Safia Minney has set a precedent and a fine example that her model of fairtrade and sustainability works in fashion. Not only does it work, but it helps to eleviate communities out of poverty and into self-sufficiency, impacting their livelihoods immensely.
Emma Watson is a British actress and activist for gender equality and ethical fashion. She is the UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador. Emma continually showcases and discusses her sustainable and ethical fashion choices in an effort to incite change and get us to make smarter choices. It’s refreshing to see when celebrities use their platform to create positive change. We can’t undermine how much weight their words and actions carry in influencing others. Hundreds of thousands of people around the globe are now getting a message of sustainable and ethical fashion thanks to her advocacy. In fact, she even made sure her red dress and cape costume from Beauty and the Beast was all eco-friendly. With the use of up-cycled vintage fabrics and GOTS-certified (global organic textile standard) organic cotton and linen and natural dyes, they ensured all components of her costume was 100 percent sustainable. Hopefully designers everywhere can learn from this that if motivated enough, anything is possible.
Livia firth is the Founder and Creative Director of Eco Age, a consultancy firm working with brands who want to improve or build sustainability into their supply chain. She was also the Executive Director of the documentary “The True Cost” that changed so many people’s perception of fashion including my own. In addition, she founded the “Green Carpet Challenge,” which seeks to influence celebrities to wear ethical and sustainable designs to high profile events to shine a light on sustainability and social welfare in fashion. In addition to all of that fabulousness, Live Firth is also a women’s rights campaigner, having launched The Circle — an advocacy group working to overcome poverty and empower women around the world.
With the examples of these inspiring women and so many more globally, it just goes to show that collectively we can make change happen. When we do anything with intention, purpose and motivation, women are unstoppable! #EachForEqual
Many people want to build a more consciously curated wardrobe, but are not sure where to start. Here are a few tips to help you get started. The biggest part to conquer is a mindset shift. Once you reprogram your thoughts and beliefs around shopping, the rest will be easy. It also takes a fair degree of preplanning since most of what you will find is not in the malls. Here we go!
How cool is this?! A whole mall dedicated to restoring and recycling! I would soooo shop here. Man, those Europeans sure know what they’re doing when it comes to sustainable practices. What are your thoughts? Would you shop at this mall?
It pains me to write this post. So, the CBC covered a story on the desperate plea of Zara’s garment workers in Turkey. This should really come as no surprise to people, but it will. How desperate these garment workers must be to be sending out letters of SOS. Heartwrenching. Looks like not much has changed since Rana Plaza. Interested to hear everyone else’s thoughts on this. Please leave your opinion/comments below. Read the full story here:
The race is on for brands to find more sustainable materials for their products and Reebok has taken to the challenge very seriously! In the October 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings magazine, you will find an article about Reeboks new innovative sustainable closed loop sneakers.
“Reebok is introducing a completely compostable sneaker designed to neither harm the environment when created nor potentially clog a landfill when discarded. The shoe’s upper section is made of sustainable organic cotton, while the sole is derived from industrially grown corn, harvested when it’s older and tougher. Even the eyelets are stitched, using no metal or plastic.”
In the world of everything polyester, exploring new and unique fabrics may sound scary and daunting to you. However, there are so many new innovations in textiles these days that it’s so exciting to see and learn about! At least for me…but I’m like a kid in a candy store when it comes to fabric. Oh the possibilities!
Tru’s Essentials Collection is all made out of modal and I realised that many people hadn’t heard of it, so I wanted to give you all a brief intro to some great sustainable fabrics to look out for and to know that there is more out there than just polyester. There are many harmful chemicals used in the production of polyester,including carcinogens, and if emitted to water and air untreated, can cause significant environmental damage. Even within polyester there are sustainable options like polyester made from recycled plastic bottles! Who would have thought? Continue reading Fabric 101
Come drop in to our one day pop up shop conveniently located in uptown Toronto just off the 401. It’s a great opportunity to be able to feel our soft modal fabric in person and try on whatever you’d like! Treat yourself this Valentine’s Day to fashion that is local, ethical, and sustainable and will give you lots of love for years to come! If interested in attending please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (647) 885-3610 and Iwill send you the location details or add you to the private facebook event.