Podcast Ep. 37, FASHION REVOLUTION'S SARAH DITTY
THIS EPISODE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY MIGHTY GOOD UNDIES, THE FAIR TRADE ORGANIC UNDERWEAR BRAND.
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EPISODE 37 FEATURES SARAH DITTY
Who made your clothes? Welcome to the last in our mini-series of four shows in celebration of Fashion Revolution Week, the global not-for-for profit campaign that was established on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster to promote transparency in the global fashion industry.
You’re going to meet Fashion Revolution’s Head of Policy, Sarah Ditty. Sarah is based in London, and has a wealth of insights the big issues around ethical and sustainable fashion today, from modern slavery to living wages through sustainable fabrics and fashion waste to extending the life of our clothes. Why do these things matter? What can you do to help? How far have we come, and what sort of fashion industry would be like to create for our future? Find out how Sarah started out, where her passion for social justice comes from, what it was like to be a sustainable fashion blogger before that was an actual thing, and where she stored her excessive wardrobe before she saw the light...
WHAT WE TALK ABOUT...
FASHION REVOLUTION is a global movement across more than 100 countries campaigning for a cleaner, safer and fairer fashion industry. They say: "We are demanding radical, systemic change of the fashion industry, and our vision is an industry that values people, the environment, creativity and profit equally. We are on a mission to bring everyone across the value chain together to make this change happen." Sign the manifesto here.
Labour Behind the Label is a campaign that works to improve conditions and empower workers in the global garment industry.
Clean Clothes Campaign is a global alliance dedicated to improving working conditions and empowering workers in the global garment and sportswear industries. Right now, they're urging garment brands to take responsibility for safe factories in Bangladesh by signing the 2018 Transition Accord.
Carry Somers' hat brand is Pachachuti.
The FASHION TRANSPARENCY INDEX is an annual review of the biggest global fashion brands and retailers ranked according to how much they disclose about ￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼their social and environmental policies, practices and supply chain impacts. Read the 2018 report that Sarah worked on, here.
TOOLS, RULES & REGULATIONS THAT help GOVERN FASHION SUPPLY CHAINS
The International Labor Organisation has a set of conventions on working conditions. The below is from the Clean Clothes Campaign website:
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is a tripartite organisation consisting of trade unions, governments and companies, and is part of the United Nations system. In 1998, the ILO produced the Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. In the Declaration, ILO member states agreed that they should all respect, promote, and realise core labour standards (whether they have been ratified or not).
- The core labour standards consist of five standards, laid out in eight conventions:
- Freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining (Convention No. 87 & No. 98)
- The elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour (Convention No. 29 & No. 105)
- The effective abolition of child labour (Convention No. 138 & No. 182)
- The elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation (Convention No. 100 & No. 111)
The CCC calls upon companies to respect, in addition to these, the following internationally recognised labour rights: the right to a living wage based on a regular working week that does not exceed 48 hours; humane working hours with no forced overtime; a safe and healthy workplace free from harassment; and a recognised employment relationship with labour and social protection. These rights have also been laid down in ILO conventions and recommendations and in the UN declaration on human rights and are essential to workers in the garment industry.
The UN's Guiding Principals on Business and Human Rights are a set of guidelines for states & companies to prevent, address and remedy human rights abuses committed in business operations.. Read them in full here.
The objective of the TRANSPARENCY PLEDGE is to help the garment industry reach a common minimum standard for supply chain disclosures by getting companies to publish standardised, meaningful information on all factories in the manufacturing phase of their supply chains. The civil society coalition that developed the Pledge surveyed published factory lists of leading apparel companies and developed a set of minimum supply chain disclosure standards that build on good practices in the industry. Read more on the Human Rights Watch website.
The UK passed a Modern Slavery Act in 2015. This requires brands over 36 million pounds in annual turnover to report on how they are doing due diligence and risk assessment to ensure there is no modern slavery in their supply chains. Similar legislation is currently in the works in Australia.
Want to find out more about the LIVING WAGE ISSUE. Episode 23, What She Makes, goes into these issues in depth.
THE LIFECYCLE OF A PAIR OF LEVI’S 501 JEANS — SUMMARY OF KEY FINDINGS:
- Water Consumption: Nearly 3,800 litres of water are used to make a pair of jeans. Fibre production, predominantly cotton (68%), consumes the most water, followed by consumer care (23%).
- Climate Change: Of the 33.4 kg of carbon dioxide produced during the lifecycle of a pair of jeans, consumer care (37%) and fabric production (27%) generate the most significant climate change impact and energy use.
- Expanded Scope: By expanding our scope to include leading cotton-producing countries, we’ve seen the water consumption from cotton cultivation increase, since the amount of water used to grow cotton varies significantly across the world. Also, by including new consumer markets we’ve found that washing and drying habits vary by region.
- Impact: By wearing jeans 10 times before washing, American consumers can reduce their water and climate change impact by 77 %, UK and French consumers by 75% and Chinese consumers by 61 %
Read the full report here.
WORN AGAIN was founded by Cyndi Rhoades in 2005. They have developed a trail-blazing textile-to-textile recycling technology that can separate and recapture polyester (PET) and cotton from discarded, low-value clothing to produce virgin-equivalent, cost competitive polyester and cellulosic raw materials to go back into the supply chain as part of a continual process. They say, "What’s unique to our process is that we can not only take in pure and blended polyester and cotton textiles but we can also produce two pure outputs, a clear economic advantage." We say, we love you Cyndi!
Katie Jones is a brilliant knitwear designer and mad crochet fan. Katy's work makes everyone happy. She is one of the stars of the Wardrobe Crisis book, BTW. Talking of which, have you bought your copy yet?! Watch Katie being awesome here:
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Until next time,