I believe big and little brands have a responsibility to their workers,
which is why I was so disturbed when a couple of days ago, this article from The Guardian made its way into my inbox. It describes the actual practices going on behind the scene and behind the seams of one of the biggest brands, one which I look up to and appreciate for all of their extraordinary contributions paving the way for small brands like ours.
Within the manufacturing facility in Bangladesh, several female workers have spoken out regarding the violence and harassment they are required to endure to continue to collect their meager monthly salaries, which wouldn’t even pay for one pair of Lululemon leggings.
There have been reports of women being called ‘prostitutes” and “sluts” by those running the factory floor, and having been forced to work overtime while facing abuse, both physical and verbal.
In spite of the public relations story that Lululemon has partnered with The United Nations Foundation, whose goals include “… advance human dignity and well-being on a thriving planet…,” the company has been slow and ineffectual in their efforts to address these issues in their many factories based in third world nations.
Anna Bryher, advocacy director for the campaign group Labour Behind the Label, said: “Women at the bottom of supply chains bear the brunt of fashion’s unrelenting push to be fast and cheap … It’s obscene.”
She added: “As outrageous as this story is, this isn’t a one-off. Women making our clothes in Bangladesh are routinely and systematically abused and harassed.”
What can you do?
Fast fashion has made clothing cheaper, but someone somewhere in the supply chain is paying the price for it. Garment manufacturing workers in third world sweatshops are barely paid a living wage. Don’t just blindly support a brand. Make yourself aware of their ethical practices. There are more and more organizations working to raise awareness about working conditions for those in the garment industry, like LABOUR BEHIND THE LABEL , REMAKE WORLD, and THE ECO-AGE.
What can you watch?
“THE TRUE COST”
A terrific movie that will change the way you shop forever. You can rent it on any of these platforms.
You won’t regret it.