How to Fight Human Trafficking Through Fashion
The thought of tackling an issue like human trafficking is extremely daunting. With 24.9 million people trapped in modern day slavery today, it can seem impossible to help. But you may be able to have a bigger impact than you think.
Authur: Meghan McKenzie
Surprisingly, the fashion industry and human trafficking are actually closely linked. Much of the fast fashion we purchase today is made using exploitive systems such as sweatshops and slave labor. Whoever said ”life is short, buy the shoes” – should check the label first.
This cheap labor comes primarily from women, who make up to 80% of the workers in the garment industry. Often, this labor comes at the cost of exploiting children as well.
Research shows that many of the workers in the garment industry are victims of human trafficking, forced into slave labor. According to the GlGlobal Slavery Index’s 2018 report, published by the Walk Walk Free Foundation, $127.7 billion worth of garments that are at risk of including modern slavery in their supply chain are imported every year. Who ever said ”life is short, buy the shoes” should check the label first…
Here are some steps you can take to shop more consciously:
Do your research to see if the brand you are buying from has ethical standards, you can find this on their website. If this information isn’t on there, it probably is not ethical.
You can see if the product is Fair Trade Certified – this certification holds businesses to a very high standard and ensures that the business empowers the communities it employs by paying workers fair wages and helping them build sustainable livelihoods, creating a safe working environment, and establishing standards for environmental practices.
Additionally, you can support mother earth through shopping sustainably – this ”describes a system that perpetuates without creating harm to the environment. The company could use renewable materials, recycled materials, dyes that don’t harm the environment, etc.” (Fair FashFair Fashion Magazine) Again, check to see if the company has environmental standards for their products. You can also try to buy clothing made of sustainable msustainable materials, such as linen or organic cotton.
Other words to look for include: handmade, artisan made, slow fashion, and conscious fashion.
A more ethical world starts with you, as Christine Caine the founder of The A21 Campaign, an anti-human trafficking NGO, once said ”When a lot of people do a little, it adds up and makes a difference.” We can change the world, one cute ethical top at a time!
For more ethical fashion follow @meghanlynnemckenzie