The fashion industry is one of the biggest supporters of modern slavery across the globe. The Ethical Trading Initiative reports that 71% of (UK) companies believe there is the likelihood of modern slavery occurring at some stage in their supply chains.
The International Labour Organisation estimates that 152 million children—more than twice the population of the UK—are engaged in child labour.
In the worst cases, these children are slaves living in desperate conditions. Many child labourers are making textiles and garments to satisfy the demand for cheap fashion in the west. Corners are often cut, making serious injuries and fires commonplace.
This needs to STOP and 'slave-free' must be made normal.
The good news is, we can take action and vote with our money. Join us in investing your money in the brands that are taking steps to stop slavery and exploitation - this will powerfully interrupt the dangerous and damaging culture of fast fashion.
We are big supporters of buying second-hand, but we’d thought we’d introduce you to five of our favourite brands we head to if we’re buying new. These brands featured have a high level of transparency and have a commitment to pay all their workers a fair wage.
1) RAPAUNI: The team at Rapauni use a high proportion of eco-friendly materials including Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) cotton. Their climate impact is reduced by consuming 100% renewable energy in the final stage of production and their use of low-impact non toxic dyes. More than that, they ensure payment of a living wage across its supply chain and all of their supply chain is independently audited or internally visited. They are one of the most affordable ethical brands that we have found and love buy a lot of our basics from there!
2) JAGGERY: offers the most beautifully crafted timeless knitwear made in Auroville, South India where founder Theresa grew up. Ethical values have always taken first place and the vision of JAGGERY is to help create a livelihood for local villagers and support little artisan workshops within the community. Every product has a commitment to be made 100% respectfully- to the environment, the maker and those who purchase. Why not go and swoon over these stunning knits?
3) NUDIE: We’re big fans of the Nudie team and their latest collection. We love their ethos, the fit of the jeans and clothes themselves and their offer of free repairs for life meaning their clothes can last longer! Nudie uses GOTS certified cotton, and has a commitment to making high quality and long lasting products. They have also adopted the Fair Wear foundation code of conduct, meaning that their suppliers are paid a living wage and their suppliers are traceable. Its use of eco-friendly materials limits the amount of chemicals, water and wastewater used in production too!
4) PEOPLE TREE: The People Tree story started back in 1991 with founder Safia Minney. Pioneers in sustainable fair trade fashion, People Tree were the first fashion company to be awarded the World Fair Trade Organisation product label. These certifications guarantee People Tree’s dedication and compliance to the principles of fair trade, covering fair wages, good working conditions, transparency, environmental best practice and gender equality. People Tree work closely with those in developing countries to build viable long-term business, which can sustain communities. Every product is made to the highest ethical and environmental standards from start to finish, respecting both the people and the planet.
5) BIRDSONG: Birdsong was founded based on experience working with marginalised women on the frontline in the UK. More than being an ethical and sustainable fashion brand they pride themselves on being a social enterprise- their number one priority being the wellbeing of their makers. The team provides meaningful, dignified work and living wages to the local communities they support. They have a phenomenal impact report that can be found over on their website and they create original wardrobe staples for women with truly original designs.
Do you have any other ethical fashion faves? Let us know what you love!