Over a thousand factory workers died after being made to go back into a structurally unsafe building to fulfil a stretched order of fast fashion clothing. Someone could have lost a mother, a daughter, a father, or a son, because of a £5 shirt with ‘swag’ written across the chest.
Hundreds of thousands of factory workers in third world countries are paid less than USD$3 a day for hours of sewing the same stitch, on the same shirt, for over 10 hours a day, 7 days a week, for an entire year.
Workers demanding for a decent living wage - to have enough to eat- have been locked inside rooms and beaten over the fear of disturbing this low cost supply chain.
Yet in the two minutes you took to read these three paragraphs, fast fashion companies have sold approximately £147,000 worth of clothing, and a garment factory worker (usually female) would have only made £0.03. It is estimated that the industry as a whole generates between £500 billion and £2 trillion annually - all of it at the gross expense of the people making these clothes.
The sad truth is that companies have less than little incentive to change - they only respond to competition and their consumers. Cosude wants to empower the only voices these companies will hear, to use technology to empower consumers and conscious makers to be heard, and to demand for a conscious supply chain.
You're right. This is a tough issue, but it is one we are particularly determined to solve.
We often don't think about the people who make our clothes
When we see a cheap clothing shirt, our first response is usually, 'this is so cheap, I need to buy it!'. But if it is so cheap, how little do the people making it actually earn?
Our beautiful clothes are made in ugly ways
6/7 days a week, 10 hours a day, earning less than $3USD a day, many have to sell their furniture in order to see the doctor. Fast fashion brands justify it saying this teaches skills. But for factory productivity, workers sew the same seam on the same shirt over and over again. It is hard to learn anything if you're sewing the exact same seam a thousand times.
Thousands have died over a £5 shirt
What happens if you need more clothes for cheaper? You build more factories and squeeze the margins from them. Structurally unsafe buildings were made to fulfill these orders quickly. As a result, hundreds upon thousands have died in building fires and collapses.
The good news: You have the power!
You can do something, you can help make sure that the people that make our clothes get dignified wages. You can demand for a transparent supply chain. Our clothes can be beautiful inside and out.