Have you met the Australian Ethical Shopping organisation?
I’ve just finished reading a startling new Australian book called Wardrobe Crisis written by Clare Press who’s worked in the Australian and British fashion industry for a couple of decades. She’s editor at Marie Claire (Australia) magazine, she’s worked on major fashion publications, in design and been published widely internationally.
In other words she knows her stuff, she knows how to write it and it’s fact all the way down the line.
It seems that while many of us care a lot about where our food comes from we haven’t yet realised that there is a big crisis of ethics inside our wardrobes. If you’ve got a pair of stonewashed or distressed jeans in your cupboard you might want to look at where they were made and what effect the production of your jeans had on the local environment.
If you’re buying socks in a pack of three for $10, you might want to check out where they were made, how old the makers were and whether they had ventilation in the factory.
The peculiar thing about clothing is that we’ve reached a stage where we expect it to be cheap but no matter what we are paying, someone somewhere is paying the full price. It’s not nice, it’s distinctly uncomfortable and it’s something I’m going to be talking about here.
The Australian Ethical Shopping organisation can help you make good choices about all sorts of things that you purchase, I urge you to go to their clothing section. You can check out for the brand of clothing you are wearing right now:
- how honest (transparent) it is about where it’s supplies come from;
- whether Uzbek cotton is used in your clothing, the fabric made in part by forced child labour;
- whether your clothing is made by people with fair pay and work conditions — or in sweatshops.
as well as a host of other issues. Look particularly at those companies which have been awarded a D or an F, there are some big names there you may not want to be associated with.