Am I responsible for the person that manufactures my clothes?
I don’t know the person, but I know that most likely this person lives on the other side of the world. Maybe in Bangladesh. I know that most of my purchases are done because large brands advertise that I need to buy. The society tells me that I’m only someone if I own the most recent collection from the brand XYZ.
The truth is that workers in low cost economies are paid less than U$0.30 an hour to work between 14 to 17 hours daily. When the piece of clothing gets to me, its overpriced, but I still pay. In fact, I pay for it every week… More specifically 68 times every year. So, am I responsible for it?
Yes! I am responsible for whatever action I decide to do. Then… why I did not stop buying fast fashion in 2013 when a collapse in a Bangladeshi factory killed more than 1000 people?
My thought is that large brands should actually be hold responsible for all the workers that they direct and indirectly employ. For example, I know that after XXX’s factory burned down and killed 29 people, they spent more than $1 million on safety measures, having earned more than $5 million in gross profit in the previous year. That should be enough.
No! Imagine that these brands are only making money because I am buying all their crappy products every day! Approximately 70 million barrels of oil are used every year to produce the most popular fiber in clothing, the polyester. So, I am not only supporting slave labor, but I am also polluting the hell of the world.
So, if you believed in this B/S, and that I am not responsible for the person that manufactures my clothes: you are wrong. The system only has this exploitation of labor, long hours, and unethical practices because I, we – you and me – support it.
Let’s stop to throw away 32 kilograms of clothing every year (this is: 32kg per person!!!). Sustainability also involves the apparel industry.
It is both unethical and unfair to consume more than we need, when on the other side of the globe, someone is paying for our privilege (privilege?) of having fifteen different tops, when all we need is one. Or are we a slaves of fashion?