The truth about the clothing industry

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I wasn’t much of a fashionista in my teen years. Then, in college I started to buy brand clothing, trying to look for quality in my clothing. A few years later I saw Blood, Sweat and T-shirts, a BBC documentary on how our clothes are made in India. It made me cry and rethink my fashion choices. Ever since then, I’m looking for products that aren’t made in India, Pakistan and other underdeveloped countries.

The mathemantics are simple: huge brands will have their products made in these countries because, as we knew for a while now, it is very cheap. So, we are paying about $15 on a product that has been made in India for as little as 10 cents! I wouldn’t even mind the amount I am paying for something worth 10 cents, but the way these products are made just makes me angry!

I’m sure Blood, Sweat and T-shirts wasn’t the first documentary on how our clothes are made, but it was the first one I saw. This was about 3 years ago. Since then, there are several documentaries, social campaigns and experiments that have caught my attention. Also, TV shows started to talk about this matter. I’m happy to see all this and I hope more and more people will become aware how the clothes we are wearing on a daily basis are made.

John Oliver, in Last Week Tonight, does a great job pointing out some of the problems in how brands manage to sell us cheap clothing! Gap, Forever21, H&M, Walmart and Zara are only a few brands John Oliver talks about! Check out the video below!

Altough I agree with these documentaries and informative talks about these issues, I still didn’t see anyone coming up with a solution. Children are working in those clothing factories for as little as 13 cents/hour because they need it! Those 13 cents/hour are their only income in a society where they have no better chance. Schooling costs a fortune and they need to eat every day, just like you and me. So if we stop buying clothes made in India, for exemple, these children will have no where to work at and end up maybe even worse. At this point, I’m seriously questioning if I made the right decision by not buying clothes made in these countries.

I’m afraid the problem of where and how our clothes are made is a lot more deep than we want to see. People who work in those factories have no choice and for them, it really is as good as it gets. So, while we are talking about our new fancy jeans that we managed to buy on sale from, let’s say, H&M or Zara, there are people who worked on those jeans for 13 cents in unimaginable conditions.

So what should we do? Can we build schools in India or Pakistan so these kids can have free education? Can we provide them housing and food so they don’t have to work at the age of 12? Can we do anything?

The 2 Euro T-shirt social experiment and campaign is definitely a start. They say:  We need greater transparency in the fashion supply chain because we can’t improve conditions or protect the environment without knowing where our clothes are made. We need to challenge brands and retailers to take responsibility for the people and communities on which their business depends. Ask the brands whose clothes you love #whomademyclothes and help start a Fashion Revolution. If you would like to support this campaign and help to build a better future for everyone in the global fashion supply chain, please donate via the following link http://fashionrevolution.org/get-invo… Even donating €2 will help make a difference.

This is one of the first campaigns I saw to try to make a difference, not only by word, but also by action. I really hope not many people bought the 2 euro T-shirt!  Watch the video below and make your own decision on what will you wear tomorrow!

 

 

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