Last week was a hard week for America as we continued to weather the uncertainty of COVID-19 while collectively mourning yet another black man killed by the very people who exist to serve and protect. (This topic is nuanced and deserves attention, so for more education and ways to be involved please visit Black Lives Matter). As you find ways to take a stand we wanted to shine a well-deserved spotlight on some black-owned ethical fashion brands who are killing it. We've encouraged everyone during this COVID season to support small brands whenever possible and the same rings true as you support black owned ethical fashion brands who are doing their part to address ethical employment and sustainable supply chain practices in fashion.
Slavery became illegal in most of the world by the end of the 19th century, but that does not mean that’s when it ended. What actually happened is slavery went underground to a black market and today there are an estimated 41 million people in slavery worldwide. To give you perspective, the transatlantic slave trade of the 15th-19th centuries saw 12-15 million people in slavery, which is just about 1/3 of the forced labor we see (or don't see) today. Of the 41 million people in modern day slavery, fashion is estimated to have $127.7 billion of garments at risk of including slavery, imported annually into G20 countries that account for 80% of world trade. With such catastrophic numbers, why isn't anyone doing something to stop slavery in fashion? Well the short answer is, it's complicated. To understand more, you must first understand how human trafficking gets into the fashion supply chain in the first place.
We are living in strange times as most of the world is on lockdown trying to reduce the spread of coronavirus. The fashion industry in particular is taking the hit hard as we begun feeling the effects of Coronavirus in our shut down supply chain in the winter in China. Now, as retail stores are all closed too, it is a very real worry what this global pandemic will do to our industry and our global economy.
While we wait out the news each day, here's a list of grants and resources for small businesses to help you weather this unprecedented time. We hope this gives you a positive place to focus your energy, pay your employees, and stay in business so when this is all over you come out more nimble and ready to grow.
Finding the perfect garment manufacturer to produce your clothes can feel impossible. There is an overwhelming amount of options online but most factories have awful websites making them difficult to find. In fact, finding a garment factory is often still conducted via word of mouth. And that's just finding a factory, not assessing their ethical and sustainability standards and quality. So once you've done the hard work of finding a garment factory, what do you do to get the highest quality production possible? Creating a great relationship when working with your garment factory is key to great production, and here's 5 ways to manage that.
With news of the Coronavirus now reaching Europe and America, after already taking a huge toll on the workforce of China, fashion braces itself for the aftermath in the days and months ahead for sales and our supply chain. As we remain entrenched in a global market, here's the ways the CoVid19 is already affecting the fashion industry and what we can predict as a result.
We answer this question from square one which is, making anything will have an impact on the earth and therefore inextricably be unsustainable. However, because we deeply believe you cannot abate the human desire to create we would rather find the most sustainable route to do so and steer creators toward that greener pasture. So here we are, how do we find sustainable packaging that can ship our products safely yet disintegrate reliably? Let's dig in.
Sometimes when we talk about ethical factories, that can feel nebulous and vague if you don't understand the breakdown of what goes into making an ethical factory. In case you are interested in learning the 8 standards of an ethical factory you can get our free download by subscribing to our weekly newsletter here. But since one of the standards of an ethical factory is paying your workers a fair wage, you might wonder, "What is a fair wage versus a living wage? And who sets that rate?" Let's dive in.
The fight to make the industry more ethical and sustainable is nuanced and grey. How do you suss out greenwashing from genuine improvement? There's been a great push in the better half of the last decade to increase transparency in an effort to let the consumer be more informed and vote with their dollars. This campaign for a more transparent fashion industry has created great demand for increased standards across the board, but is that all we need? At THR3EFOLD we believe transparency is just the beginning and by no means the solution, here's why.
By Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff, Lincoln Sarnoff Consulting
In January 2019, CGS reported that 68% of customers prioritize sustainability when making purchasing decisions. And in a recent Gallup poll, 73% of millennials – a group that’s worth $1 trillion in consumer spending – said they’d spend more for sustainable products. Companies are responding by shifting to more transparent and sustainable supply chains and manufacturing systems (like THR3EFOLD). But what about shipping those products to customers? Aside from utilizing more sustainable packaging, the impact of transport – from air freight to delivery truck – historically has been difficult to avoid. Until cleaner transportation exists what can we do in the meantime to offset all these carbon emissions as an industry?
This isn’t a trick question, or maybe it is. What it gets down to is are we willing to ask the really uncomfortable questions to better understand our global supply chain and then find a way to move forward together. At THR3EFOLD we believe that a full secondary school education is the right to every child no matter their socioeconomic status. However we are constantly forced to confront and understand cultural differences and also believe it is important to respect that culture for their beliefs and the choices they make as a result. To fully comprehend this issue we first need to understand why child labor is in our supply chain now and what is currently being done to limit it.