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A follow on from Fashion's Dirty Secrets

In Stacey Dooley’s “fashions dirty secrets”, which aired on BBC1 in October, she focused on the impact that fast fashion has on our planet. What she discussed and investigated is true, clothes and textiles are the 2nd largest polluter to oil. The use of natural resources to feed our lust for fashion is decimating the planet, but also enslaving people into factory fodder. The fashion industry dehumanises the men and mainly women who work in these factories. Most of our clothes are made in countries that are so far away, we have no concept of their geographical position nor their culture.

Do you know where Myanmar or Ethiopia are?

Many jackets and coats on the high street are made in Myanmar, formally known as Burma. Most of the factories are owned by Korean or Chinese businessmen who exploit the cheap labour (mainly women). In May this year women workers went on a protest about their conditions and were beaten by 40 hired thugs; 26 of them were injured and 6 hospitalised. (see more)

Authorities in Myanmar are ethnically cleansing the Rohingya Muslims and have displaced over a million people into the borders of Bangladesh. This country is not a democracy, nor does it follow UN human rights act, and yet our retailers have no qualms about buying their goods from these places, because they are cheap, and cheap means bigger profits. See also this link regarding the fast fashion sheds set up in Ethiopia by a large Chinese owned sourcing company.

women working sewing in bangladesh factoryPhoto by Chaumtoli Huq

In Bangladesh the minimum wage is at £74 per month, and in Myanmar it is around £53 per month and Ethiopia the base income is €22. Compare this to Portugal, where the minimum wage is £594 per month. This is why retailers flock to the low-cost countries.

Here at Fferal, we want an honest industry where all workers are paid a fair wage for a fair day’s work, and are not abused or enslaved, so we make all our products in Portugal where workers are treated properly, paid on time and have safe working conditions. We want to offer people the option to buy more affordable, ethically made goods and is one of the many reasons we developed fferal.

Unfortunately, fashion has many more dirty secrets.

Do you ever wonder wear your clothes come from?

Do you ever think where they may end up?

Keep checking our blog posts for more information!

 

Further info on workers in Bangladesh:

Workers Rights in Bangladesh Through a Gender Lens

Documentary about Female Garment Workers in Bangladesh

 

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