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Socially, the global booming fashion industry is largely built on low wages paid to people working in factories abroad but also increasingly in the UK, in cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, London and Leicester.
Why should you care?
Behind the price tag there is an environmental and social cost not contained on the label of such products that most people do not know. This is the hidden price tag people in the supply chain and the environment itself pays.
More than 80 per cent of the workforce in Cambodia’s garment industry are women, aged 18 to 35. In India, Bangladesh and much of Asia most garment workers are women, many of which are supporting children and families on their wages alone.
The problem is that not only do low wages keep garment workers in a cycle of poverty, but they also add to the pressure to work long overtime hours, affecting workers health and safety, and overall productivity. Additionally, the minimum legal wage in many garment producing countries is below what is considered necessary to support a worker and their families at a low but decent standard of living.
For example, according to the Living Wage Coalition in Bangladesh the current minimum wage can be as low as 40% of a ‘living wage’ and in Cambodia and China the minimum wage, according to the Clean Clothes Campaign, would need to be at least twice as high to cover the basic cost of living.
Forced and bonded labour
It gets worst. The Global Slavery Index estimates that 45.8 million people are living in modern slavery or forced labour today, many in the supply chains of clothing brands and retailers. According to this Index, 58% of people in slave labour are found in the major cotton or garment producing countries of the world –, China, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and the Pakistan. In such contexts regulations do not exist, or are poorly implemented, and migrant workers and indigenous people are particularly vulnerable to forced labour.
Why is Societal different?
The products and fabrics we print on are sourced from ethical brands and suppliers that comply to labor, environmental, and safety standards.
Our products are printed with care at fulfillment centers in North America and Europe.
The team who undertake this work enjoys paid time off, healthcare benefits, and a safe and friendly work environment. Each facility has implemented corporate social responsibility initiatives, like LED lighting and recycling programs for paper, plastic, and glass. All ink waste is disposed of to meet environmental regulations.
Additionally, damaged products are donated to charitable organizations. Societal defies convention and embraces the challenge of bringing premium tees to the world at reasonable prices whiles providing the purchaser with a peace of mind that both labor, environmental, and safety standards have been adhered to.
Humans engage in the act of dressing every day, with a wide range of supplements and modifications to the body. Dress is an assemblage of those supplements and modifications, and it is also an act or a behavior.
How we dress and with what communicates a world of information about the individual—in relationship to others and in society at large. Your decision to not keep up with trends speaks toward your beliefs, just like not voting speaks to your political beliefs.
You can’t get away from what your style says about you, and because it can say so much, it can be a driving force of change, not just a reflection of it.
The political climate has shifted and one of the most common questions we get is where our garments are made. And because we’re all about transparency we wanted to shine some light on our t-shirt supply chain so you know exactly where our tees come from!