Ethics: Chapter 1 – Fashion: The Un-Glam Side

As the title of this blog post implies the first chapter of the book; Naked Fashion; The New Sustainable Fashion is about the Un-Glamorous side of the fashion industries.

It talks about various things that developing countries are going through and the following are a few points that struck me the most among the various things these societies have to go through;

Business Class Flight – Magazine Ads

When the author was flying on a business Class flight around 15 years ago an ad said:

”Rosa 50c now 30c an hour”. (Rosa was a skillful worker and her hourly pay has fallen in order to attract business man to start placing orders in factories that pay their employees with such low wage.

Although this has happened in the 90’s very similar situations still is evident in countries such as the Honduras and Bangladesh.

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As this quote implies when we buy clothing that are cheap in terms of money it does not mean that a wealthy business wo/man is so generous that s/he is giving things for free or half price but rather a poor wo/man and children are working 12 hour long shifts for a miserable pay check.

It will not effect the consumers 

Liz Jones, fashion editor, interviewed a woman who works in such factories and has a suggestion that may change their quality of life. The woman said that if fashion brands would ”insist on a minimum wage of 5,000 taka a month” it would mean that a £20 pair of jeans would then cost £20.80 pence.

This price change would not make a big difference to the consumers but would definitely make a change to the quality of life of the factory workers.

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”If you pay a little more, we can live a little better”

Amount of waste

” The British clothing and textile sector alone currently (2011) produces around 3.1 million tonnes of CO2, two million tonnes of waste and 70 million tonnes of water waste per year with 1.5 million tonnes yearly of unwanted clothing and textiles ultimately ending up in landfills. ”

When one is given such figures its impossible to say that we are fine with how we are living or argue sustainability is not the way forward. I am convinced that if sustainability would be the main priority of each and every brand these figures would drastically drop and we would truly make a change in the enviorment we live in.

Water pollution

References:

Minney, S., Watson, E., Siegel, L. and Firth, L. (2011). Naked fashion. Oxford, UK: New Internationalist.

 

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