Playgrounds, parks, and school- these are the places where we should find children. Not factories and fields. It is easy to forget the possibility that a small child may have produced the things we wear. A child that we would never meet- but sewed that shirt we love so much.
Now, why would a child be in charge of making that shirt? Shouldn’t they be having fun, enjoying life?
It’s because children are compliant, and the tasks that they perform in the fashion industry often require a low amount of skill considering them optimal employees. Many children are promised wages that are never paid, and even the promise of a more hopeful life.
Why is it ok to rope in an innocent child like that?
Big brands even use the excuse that many of these tasks are thought to be easier with small hands.
What is going on here?
Many companies can have ethical guidelines that they have been put in place but the high demand from consumer’s results in companies putting a large amount of pressure on their manufacturers to quickly produce mass amounts of product.
Once factories realize that they can’t produce what is being asked of them, leading them to rely on other factories where child labor is practiced, allowing mass production at a lower cost.
It sounds like many major brands find it easy to turn a blind eye to what is going behind the scenes, you know- outside he boardroom, perhaps? It’s time to start visiting factories to ensure that the work environment is safe, healthy and workers are being paid a living wage.
The next time you are shopping a brand, think to yourself “Where was this made?” “Who made this?” Take the time to think a little further than just the color, the fit, and the fabric. Try something new and shop fair trade products.
It’s time to do everything we can to protect the children.
xoxx -Mel 💋