As a do-gooder group we often get caught up in the hustle of help. But if we’re not careful we pigeonhole the most valuable asset of our supply chain into a small confined box they can’t get out of. We have to redefine our view of garment workers and the value they bring to the table. Here are the 3 most common misconceptions made about garment workers, that we’ve even been guilty of ourselves at times.
1 | They Are Not Charity Cases
Social impact seekers have to be very careful that we aren’t thinking of valuable staff as victims. Viewing them as such puts an identity on them that’s hard to be free from. It makes us talk to them differently and manage them differently. These garment workers are an integral part of producing our collections. They were hired for their skill and so they deserve to be given the same level of respect and standards that our local corporate team would. When you treat your whole supply chain as one, you can reduce your own subconscious caste system, and call your team to a higher standard of quality and progress.
2 | They Don’t Make Crap
Again, they were hired for their skill. Garment workers have incredible skill to craft in small detail and large quantities. They have to have an eye for detail through repetition. Where our eyes might glaze over, there’s must remain consistent and vigilant. Asia specifically is known for some of the finest craftsmanship in the world. They’ve learned these skills over generations and can deliver in a speed that is unparalleled.
3 | They Aren’t Unhappy Necessarily
Various exposes and documentaries on garment workers are doing a great job at finding the factories with awful conditions, exposing the problems we are turning a blind eye to in our industry, and igniting change. The unintended side effect however is the blanket assumption that all factory sewing jobs are oppressive. Remember, that for centuries people in Italy, France, America, and everywhere have worked as garment factory workers in what was considered a great stable living for their family. We’ve been in some incredible ethically certified factories where garment workers, love their coworkers, and enjoy working with their hands, and the ability to plan for their family’s future through steady pay.
If you’ve ever worried about the care and pay your garment workers receive and are pondering a shift to an ethically certified factory. We’d love to introduce you! Please reach out today so we can get you connected this week!