This week, we were heartbroken to read an undercover report by The Sunday Times exposing the shocking working conditions of a garment factory in Leicester, UK. This damning report not only revealed non-compliance with COVID-19 health and safety regulations, but we learned that its workers were being paid between £3.50 and £4 an hour. Given that the national minimum wage in the UK is £8.72 for the over 25's, these wages are simply illegal.
As you know, we have a passion for ethical fashion so we feel it's super important that we further shine a spotlight on the unethical and inhumane practices that are going on in the fashion industry, in the UK, right now.
Earlier in the week, Lucy and Chris went live with fashion business consultant and industry pro Elizabeth Stiles to talk about the exploitation of the garment workers, why this is happening and the power that consumers hold to make a difference.
If you weren't able to join us for the Live, grab yourself a cuppa, get comfy, and catch up here.
Some insightful discussions were had about the cost of production in different parts of the world, and the disparity between some CEO's wages and the pay of their garment workers. And some great questions were answered, like the difference between ethical and sustainable fashion, and how such large corporations have been getting away with such practices for so long.
We all need to be aware of the impact of these practices and understand the true cost of fast fashion. The evidence has highlighted many intersectional issues with the way we view fashion and the people who make it as expendable; oppression and exploitation driven by fashion consumption and the greed for profit over people's rights has to stop.
One thing we know for sure from this live discussion: we have SO much more to say on this topic. Stay tuned for more in this series!
In the meantime, here are some actionable resources to help you learn, educate and support this cause. Together, we really do have the power to change the way the fashion world works - unless we do something about this now, nothing will change.
LBtL report on Boohoo
Boohoo and Slave Labour (credit to @venetialamanna)
The Leicester garment factories exposed by Covid-19
Dark factories: labour exploitation in Britain’s garment industry
Why Fashion 'Slavery' is Making Headlines
Take action with Fashion Revolution
E-mail Boohoo (credit to @theniftythrifter)
IJM - Make #SlaveFree Normal
Blog post listing 71 UK fast fashion brands and details on their practices by Besma from Curiously Conscious.