zaterdag 1 juni 2013

Fashion To Die For?

My point of view on the whole Bangladesh situation:
It's time to go to the dark side of fashion: the world of low wages and poor working conditions. Things that we as Western consumers have no view on. 
It's true that if we don't buy any clothes at H&M, Primark, Zara and such that the working conditions are not getting better. But if we want changes in the industry we need a different mindset.
First of all, paying a higher price is necessary. For consumers it's no guarantee. You can still buy a more expensive shirt, by let's say Isabel Marant, that's still being made under bad circumstances. But for producers this choice would be a lot easier because the labor costs are only a fraction (5%) of the price of a garment in stores; as the advertising costs and profits are the largest cost components of clothing.
Secondly there need to be more control and supervision at factories, as this is probably not the first time that, in a low-wage country, a factory has collapsed. Control should be on the fact that there a too many jobs of  'safe' factories are channeled to the smaller, more unsafe factories. The producers have to pay more labor costs per garment and the consumers will then not pay more or less for a garment in stores (as I said earlier).
I also claim for unions for employers and employees to reach agreement on wages, working hours and working conditions. This may sound as an utopia, but I think that this isn't entirely impossible with full cooperation of both parties AND assistance from Western countries.
Further more there need to be more transparency from the clothing brands on their production. A good example of this is Belgian designer Bruno Pieters. Last year, he began Honest by, what claims to be the first fashion company that gives full understanding into the structure of the prices of the garments. Under the head 'price calculation' each garment on the site is decomposed to the smallest detail. 
This gives me hope for revolution in the industry. Though I doubt if it will ever be completely transparant. 

'It's never been the masters who change anything.' - Bruno Pieters

2 opmerkingen:

  1. I couldn't agree more with you, BUT I have to admit that I'd still buy Primark stuff if I see something I like..



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