Ethical consumption is not something new. With the rise of fast fashion giants, stacks of social ethical problems emerged - unqualified materials, exploitation of labors, child labors... These things were mentioned repeatedly with facts that may sound familiar to you. For example, sweatshops workers in Bangladesh are earning 51¢ per hour for billion fashion industry. (Patty A., 2019) Or, 2.73 million of child labors are working in hazardous conditions to satisfy the demand (Peoples L., 2018). And perhaps many more...
But let's play fair in this article and try not to please anybody with claptrap by the numbers. The lens is always placed when we view the ethical consumption topic, we viewed from the high-land and it is actually going much further from reality.
You can say you gonna hate all these fast fashion brands and put shit on them, but you should rather just focus on how many more clothes we can save. - Dominik, Operations Manager of VinoKilo
Cruel facts that we cannot deny
Before we judge, there is a truth that we cannot deny - these sweatshops workers are feeding their families with the salary. With a relatively low education level and lack of skill sets, they are having no better alternatives at the moment.
Here come the struggles. When we try to solely ask the fast-fashion giants to raise the salary, it actually changes nothing for their situations as these businesses will only get fewer workers to work more. And when it happens that only customers are buying vintage without other parties working, it is going to be a decrease in demand, making these workers jobless also.
So what happens now?
It has to be an all-around strategy.
To truly improve their situations, governments need to set up rules and regulations, as well as enough support of other job alternatives for these workers; consumers should buy vintage instead of new clothes, think twice before purchase; clothing businesses should raise the salary and improve the working conditions, be eco-friendly at every stage. None of the above parties can stay away from their responsibilities to make changes happen. Every step counts.
The point of view matters - it's an equality issue
I can't help thinking about why the problem stays when we are talking about this for years, why people still buy fast-fashion. "They are cheap." - this is a major idea that overwhelms our mind. It's nonsense to view these ethical issues with sympathy. Let's always remember that it is their rights to have better working condition and salaries. We are not "above" these sweatshop workers, it is not alms, it is equality.
It is a right or wrong question and we are trying to correct the mistakes only.
Every little step means a lot
Together with the fact that VinoKilo reached 100 tonnes of clothes sold, we are thankful that there're supporters in the league. "100 tonnes" is not just a number, a figure, it is also like 100 steps that we took in these years. Step by step, making changes with the support from you all.
And to you, who are reading this blog, thank you for paying attention to this issue and this already means something.
We want to inspire people to consume differently and we want to give them an alternative. - Robin, Founder of VinoKilo
Let's stay stylishly sustainable and change the world.
Stay stylish, stay sustainable. XOXO