Journey || First Step

The first step to solve any problems is to understand what the problem is.  The fundamental cause to the issues we face in the textile industry is that we simply Buy. Too. Much.  With most of the global population earning between $2 and $13 per day, manufacturers have to be cost efficient.  Our never-ending ask for affordable clothes subsequently leads to many social and environmental issues such as long unsustainable working hours, unfair wages, and an excessive use of fertilizers and harmful pesticides, etc. 

How can we fulfill the demand for clothes, and at the same time, treat our people and environment kindly?  Unfortunately, the problem is so big and complex that simply no one can answer without properly understanding the context of the problem first.  In this blog, besides sharing my outfits, I hope to take this journey with you to learn more about our current textile market, and find helpful solutions to improve it!  

Similar to voting, an individual consumer’s decision to buy better may not seem a lot.  But collectively, a class of aware consumers can create a need in the market and influence apparel companies to adopt sustainable practices in the textile industry. 

The confronting truth is that with increasing consumer’s awareness and years of protest, many apparel companies are creating codes of conduct and setting standards for themselves to become more responsible.  A corporate’s codes of conduct lays down the standards and best practices, and typically, the codes of conduct address six fundamental issues:

While codes of conduct set expectations for ethical practices, they are in the end written by corporations and only meaningful under proper monitoring and enforcement.  Otherwise, it will just be a ploy to misguide customers and build strong public images.

In the next Journey post, we will talk about monitoring and enforcement methodologies  in the textile industry!

Smile and style on~

SK


References

                                                                                                      US Department of Labor                          HuffingtonPost

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