Unfortunately, the fashion industry is not only a top polluter but also a major supporter of modern-day slavery globally. Approximately 80% of garment workers are women and the mass majority of them are not being paid fair livable wages. These are women who experience poor, dangerous working conditions as well as abuse and harassment on top of their struggles to financially provide for their families. As recent as this past December, a well-known fashion brand was called out for underpaying there workers in Los Angeles, our own backyard. The United States Labor Department found them guilty owing $3.8 million in back wages to hundreds of workers. Fast fashion is exploitive and an inherently feminist issue.
Shopping from ethical brands and companies is important in order to achieve a higher quality of life for all people. Women control over 20 trillion dollars in worldwide spending. With this purchasing power comes a responsibility to not only refuse unethical corporations but also challenge their ethics so our sisters get paid. International Women's Day was birthed in 1908 after garment workers in New York City took to the streets to protest their wages. Over a century later, the injustice continues. The only way to stop the cycle is to use the tools we have, the internet to research brands before buying, and our voices for change to make it the last century in which slave labor exists.
A women owned brand that has stand out ethos is Back Beat Co.. They build strong relationships with their small, family owned factories here in Los Angeles and India as well as using low impact fabrics for their production. They take every step, thread, and person involved into the highest consideration throughout their conscious production.
1. Tencel Cropped Shirt Jacket Redwood $150
2. Tencel Paperbag Pant Ocean $120
NeoCoco is a mission driven apparel company that creates jobs for displaced women. They train and hire women through refugee resettlement agencies such as the I.R.C (International Rescue Committee) and the Catholic Charities, enabling them to work in a safe environment and contribute to their families and society. Their silhouette, embroidered designs tell the women's stories of reclaimed independence.
1. Femme Tee Sage $74
2. Mother & Child Scarf $64
Rupahaus is also an admirable Australian brand that strives to create ethically handcrafted products that are kind to the environment as well as sustaining the livelihood of the artisans’ community. They are a proud community made out of 4 artisan co-operatives scattered across Indonesia, consisting more than 80 pairs of hands working collaboratively in infusing life to each rūpa creation. In addition, 5% of the revenue from your purchase are reinvested back into the artisans’ community.
1. Cacille Set Olive $169
2. Sadia Pants Pine Gingham $150
How to take action
1. Start by checking in on the brands you already love. You can use the app Good On You or Know The Chain for reference.
2. Be heard! Take action by reaching out to brands and joining the Fashion Revolution movement. You can also educate your neighbors by educating yourself and holding local events with information and tips from Remake.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere
As we reflect on International Women's Day we are proud of our efforts providing full transparency with the brands we carry and supporting mainly female emerging designers who go above and beyond to produce ethically made collections. GALERIE.LA will continue to be a place where you can shop your values and uplift others in your community and around the world.
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