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.
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.
Factories have building regulations and labor restrictions for one very important reason, lives are at stake. So when a fire sparked in a New Delhi on Sunday, December 8th killing 43 people, something was definitely wrong. Accidents happen, but many are avoidable when regulations are followed. Here's what went wrong in the New Delhi factory fire and how you can avoid it happening in your supply chain.
We believe it will take all of us to build a fashion industry that is positive for people and planet. That said, we recognize that many of you may already be working with an excellent ethical factory! We'd love to meet them and discover the great work they are doing, and in exchange we have a special offer for factory referrals. How does a free platform sound?
Finding the right factory can feel impossible and that's just the beginning. Once you actually find that factory, how do you know they are operating at the standards you need to ensure worker safety? Most professionals do not know the right standards to look for to properly vet a factory's social compliance. That's why at THR3EFOLD we only work with factories who have an ethical certification to ensure their standards are up to par and continually checked in by an outside auditing body. Each ethical certification can vary slightly in their minimum standards, but all revolve around the following set of principals.
By Ellen Saville, Creative Director, The Endery
Manufacturing overseas has it's advantages when it comes to artisanal skill, resources, and even reduced costs. However, before you get started it is essential to consider the cultural differences and production nuances so you are best prepared to form a great working relationship with your new factory.
We've all heard of the dangers of being a small brand in a busy factory that suddenly gets a massive order leaving your stuff pushed aside and late, well we discovered Quavaro during a weekend getaway to Washington DC and were inspired by their story of turning a manufacturing disaster into a fully vertical ethical supply chain as they navigated manufacturing in Mexico. Take a peak into the process of starting an ethically made in Mexico brand with husband and wife team Cesar and Pial Vega, founders of Quavaro.
After nine months of development, we are over the moon to finally announce our Ethical Manufacturing Platform is launching into beta! This platform has been 3 years in the making and was a result of the Research & Development trip our Founder, Jessica Kelly, took to India. Jessica encountered some really incredible factories but knew how hard it was to find them online. The THR3EFOLD Ethical Manufacturing Platform seeks to make it easy for apparel and accessory brands to get connected to ethical factories around the world and manage their production all in one place.
By Loren Nichole, Sustainable Fashion Analyst
Africa is the home of many of fashion’s most popular techniques and materials including mud cloth painted pillows, ankara printed fabrics, and raffia woven bags and shoes. An article published on BSR’s website noted that sub-Saharan Africa is an “attractive” sourcing destination. It’s liberal trade policies, growing youth population coupled with the fastest urbanization rate, and easy access to ‘Western’ markets makes it the hotspot for partnering with fashion businesses.
The Citizenry founders, Carly Nance and Rachel Bentley, also love the abundance of untapped, creative potential in Africa. Some of their favorite artisan groups to work with are their African partners due to the raw talent and creative flexibility many of these groups share.
Last year, THR3EFOLD raised $17,500 in crowdfunding to go into development with a SaaS platform to allow brands to search ethical factories around the world, share designs, compare pricing, and manage their production all in one place. One of our campaign rewards was a reusable tote which was ethically made in India by factory partner Work + Shelter. We sat down with Theresa Vandermeer, Founder of Work + Shelter to learn about their origin story and what it's really like to run an ethical factory.