In 2015, I watched The True Cost documentary, and like many other people have since then, I learned that fashion is the largest labored industry, employing 1 in 6 people in the world. This may seem impossible so let me offer some food for thought:
1 | Farmers grow cotton.
2 | A mill cleans it and processes it.
3 | Another mill spins it into fiber.
4 | A mill house weaves it into fabric.
5 | Some artisans handloom it into beautiful handmade material.
6 | Factories screen print or digitally print a design or pattern on fabric.
7 | Some artisan groups are fantastic with handblocking and hand dyeing in the most beautiful finishes.
8 | Designers sketch out designs for products they want to make.
9 | The many design teams create tech packs and samples based on those designs.
10 | Sourcing agents help find factories and textiles for the design team.
11 | Production teams manage factories and timelines for the orders
12 | Auditing bodies create standards and regularly check factories to ensure no slave labor or bad work conditions are in place.
13 | Non profits advocate for garment workers, create standards where local government fails, and build awareness to consumers.
14 | Production samples are shipped to the factory who create a multitude of products in varying sizes.
15 | A photography team, stylist, hair and makeup artists, and creative director produce a photo shoot for the upcoming season.
16 | The post production team edits the photos.
17 | This imagery is sent to the advertising and social media teams to be used to help boost sales.
18 | The sales team meets with buyers from various stores to place orders for their locations.
19 | Trade shows produce major market events seasonally for brands to conduct their sales appointments in one place.
20 | The buyers of stores assess their past seasons orders to decide what will be in store next season.
21 | The PR team begins pitching various bloggers and press outlets for upcoming coverage.
22 | PR teams prep for fashion week, handling seating the front of house, celebrity seating, and press coverage for runway and behind the scenes.
23 | Production and audio/visual companies produce the fashion show.
24 | Models wear the clothes for photo shoots and runway shows.
25 | Agents help brands find and book the models.
26 | Press and bloggers plan their content and scout for new brands, products, and material to introduce to their readers.
27 | Large media publications source freelance writers to develop content.
28 | Investors and venture capital firms, find new investments, restructure executive positions to help profits grow.
29 | Recruiting firms find new talent to fill open positions.
30 | Merchandising teams assess the new products and where they should go on the floor for optimal sales.
31 | Visual merchandisers work with them to style the floor to be visually appealing as well as create inspirational store windows to entice shoppers to come inside.
32 | Retail teams work with shoppers to find new products that fit their needs and run sales.
33 | Personal stylists shop to find people (their clients) new pieces that compliment their current wardrobe, and help them learn how to dress.
34 | And of course every company no matter if it’s brand, press, retail, or agency, has their own marketing, sales, operations, HR, and administrative teams to keep all of their respective operations running and growing strong.
So long story short, fashion is a beast, and incredibly influential. If you want to start employing skilled people in developing nations in an ethical and sustainable way, fill out our brand form and let’s get you connected to a fantastic ethical factory.