As you probably noticed, fashion and feminism represent my two main interests. I´m almost done with my studies so I focus on finding a job as a proper adult. During this search, I discovered that two above mentioned spheres are more interconnected than I expected them to be. The following text will be about the intense and rotten relationship between women labour and fashion industry.
As you probably noticed (level two), I always pay attention on my purchases. On the origin of clothes, fabrics that are made of, countries of production and the final retailer. If you imagine the immense change you might achieve with premeditated buy, you wouldn´t just follow your emotions. And massive chains can work with our emotions very well. Some of them even mark the clothes with a smaller size label than it actually is, so the customer feels encouraged and therefore is willing to return for another purchase. If you should follow only one advice, try to shop rationally and not in the situations when you feel lonely or sad.
Recently, I read an article in the Guardian, which coved the story of sexual abuse of female workers in factories in African country Lesotho. The list of brands using this factory is extensive and includes brands such as Levi´s and Wrangler, but also Calvin Klein or GAP. When the allegations were brought into the light, companies managements addressed these events with their “deep concerns”- They also asked the supervisors of the factories to make changes in staffing and to investigate the abuses. However, are their deep concerns and requirements (which will probably not be performed) enough for female workers who have to keep their mouth shut to receive low or paltry salary?
Unfortunately, these events were happening regularly and with a silent consent of managers operating in the factories. Workers were forced to have sexual intercourse with their bosses to gain a higher wage or better position. What else should a worker in an undeveloped country, without any education or societal status do? Just have sex with those who are in charge and keep silent because otherwise their whole life is endangered. What can people from (lucky) Western society do to raise a life quality of these women?
Surprisingly lot. The primary problem of horrible conditions for (mostly) female workers is the lack of education. As Orwell explained in his book, if you withhold a person´s right for the education, the person becomes vulnerable and unable to defend his or her basic human rights. Therefore, argument about supporting Zara because it means ensuring at least some salary for the worker is mere drivel. We should rather start trying to stop the whole concept of fast fashion. Everyone is concerned about the fire in Amazon forest now, but an hour later you go to Zara to buy new jeans from unecological cotton, made by raped women and decorated by children, which is very common in jeans production. So, before your next purchase, you might perhaps want to think about it a little bit beforehand.