Over the weekend,
I came across another conscious blogger who talked about a documentary called Sweatshop – Deadly Fashion, and was immediately intrigued.
I found the trailer:
And discovered that if you are an Amazon Prime member, you can watch the full documentary for free!!
(If you don’t have Amazon Prime, here’s a link for you to watch it for just $3.99:
Click Here to Watch Sweatshop)
This documentary highlights the struggles and unfair treatment that workers in sweatshops receive in order to make our clothing.
A “sweatshop” is defined by the US Department of Labor as a factory that violates 2 or more labor laws.
Sweatshops often have horrendous working conditions, unfair wages, unreasonable hours, child labor, and a lack of benefits for workers.
Because women make up 85 to 90% of sweatshop workers, some employers force them to take birth control and routine pregnancy tests to avoid supporting maternity leave or providing appropriate health benefits.
In developing countries, an estimated 168 million children ages 5 to 14 are forced to work.
Many sweatshop buildings have collapsed on workers.
Here is just one case in Bangladesh.
You may be thinking, just because a building fell on them, doesn’t mean it was the industries fault.
What if I told you JUST the day before the building collapsed, there was an inspector who told the manager that the building was faulty and it needed to close down for repairs?
But because of such high demands to produce, the managers forced the workers to come in the next day for work anyway.
Mass production doesn’t allow for anyone to slow down.
Mass production is built on others suffering.
Mass production and low costs are made possible by devaluing the lives of garment workers.
As a Christian woman, who follows Jesus, I can’t just look away and pretend like I don’t know these things.
How can we make a difference?
We make a difference by researching where clothes come from.
- I’m not going to sit here and call out every brand that STILL TO THIS DAY uses sweatshops, because the list would be endless. I can tell you though, that you would be shocked at some of the names on the list. Brands that I own. Brands that you own. I really, really encourage you to research for yourself. Google it. Look at tags.
- Find brands that have standards. Here’s a link for 35 Fair Trade & Ethical Clothing Brands.
We make a difference by refusing to buy cheap clothing.
- You may think that you can’t afford anything else other than these cheap fashion brands. And yes, it’s so easy and convenient. I completely understand the struggle and I recognize that not everyone can afford to buy their little ones and family all from the brands linked above. But I have an alternative to both – Buy secondhand! You can reuse what’s already out there and not contribute to the demands of fast fashion.
- Buying secondhand is one of the most responsible ways to buy. Buying secondhand is about seeing value in items; how much material and earthly and human resources it took to make the garment and using it to its maximum potential. Buying secondhand is conscious buying. Buying secondhand is makes you aware of what people so easily toss aside and disregard. In return, what WE so easily toss aside and disregard.
We can make a difference by sharing with others.
Most people don’t know that men, women, and children are trafficked in this industry. Most people don’t know the harsh realities of their lives and how they’re fighting just to survive to MAKE A PIECE OF CLOTHING, COFFEE, CHOCOLATE, etc. Most people, if they knew, would make a change in their lives. Imagine if a movement started of people who cared about these worker and forced major corporations to obtain ethical standards? One where the the rich wouldn’t keep getting rich and the poor poorer? Wouldn’t it be worth taking the time to invest, research, and ethically buy?
I think it’s important to ask ourselves,
What kind of legacy do I want to leave on this earth?
I hope this inspires you to ask questions, within yourself and with others.
Let me know if you have any other resources out there that you’d like to share.
I am totally amazed and inspired by so many people around me.
May this spur us to continue fighting the good fight.