The fashion industry is at no shortage for conversation about change these days. Everyone is talking about needing to be more ethical and more sustainable. But why is there so much talk and not as much action? To put it simply, the supply chain is too complex for a simple solution, and it's going to take informed individuals and industry veterans working together to bridge
1 | Factories Have Lost Trust
After many unethical exposees on foreign garment factories over the years, people have lost trust in factories and the information they are given. What has happened in the past, is factories have promised standards that a brand demanded, only to find out after a tragic incident that that was indeed false, or the factory upheld the standards but outsourced the work during a busy season to a sub-standard factory where the incident occurred, leaving the brand exposed and facing profit loss. So this leads to brands relying on outside, unbiased auditing bodies to come in and certify standards are met and maintained. But what are the standards and which certifications should you source?
2 | Brands Don't Know Labor Standards or Certifications
Through our time in this space, we have found that most people, even fashion professionals, do not actually know the standards that go into an ethical certification. What dictates a fair wage? Is an after school job for a teen considered child labor? Are all of the staff documented? What's an ethical certification? Which certifications should I look for? The problem is the ethical labor standards for a factory are not common knowledge, and even here at THR3EFOLD we currently accept 6 different ethical certifications for our factory partners, and still have 3 self-assessment certifications we do not. It can make your head spin.
3 | Factories Don't Communicate Well
We've been inside excellent ethical factories, both large and small, and there's one thing they almost always have in common, their communication needs help. Usually they have an archaic, clunky website with poor quality photos, no photos, poor or missing description of their services, no indication of minimum order quantities or turnaround, and zero SEO optimization so they cannot be found on Google. So how on earth are you supposed to find them?
This is why THR3EFOLD is developing a tech platform that allows fashion brands of all sizes to search ethical factories around the world, compare pricing, and manage their production all in one place. The platform development is well underway and we expecting to launch in beta mode as early as March - we are so excited! If you are struggling to find a factory you can trust to manufacture your collection, please sign up today to join the beta list and be one of the first brands to use this exciting new platform.
We are on a mission to create a 100% ethically made fashion industry, won't you join us?