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Fair Fashion, what does that actually mean?
Lately you hear a lot of people talking about Fast Fashion, Fair Fashion, fashion-industries in poor Asian countries and Fair Trade Fashion, but what actually do these concepts mean?
With these questions in mind I'm writing this beautiful article for Tantilly. What is keeping me busy is the following question: How can we or how can I find a solution for the many wrongdoings that occur in the fashion industrie?
More and more, in particular big fashion companies are changing collections so quickly that you cannot keep up with it, so fast it goes.
The collections are being sold for prices so low you cannot imagine that it is really made by somebody, let alone you can actually buy it. 5 euro's for a T-shirt for example!
It all sounds nice.. every week a new collection occurs in the store for a super low price! BUT.. is it really that nice?
Do you really enjoy these cheap items? Or do those items end up, that is my own personal experience, somewhere in your closet so far hidden that you cannot find them anymore or you just forget you had them? Or the quality is so disappointing that, after washing those garments a couple of times, they have shrunk and look really bad?
With these questions in mind my research on Fair Fashion begins.
Who actually makes my clothes?
This was really important to me; who made the clothes I am wearing?
As a consumer I already thought that was really important, but as a shop owner it becomes more and more important to me because now I feel personally responsible.
Responsible for how my clothing-line is produced... responsible for the choice of many consumers..
I said to myself: 'There also has to be a payable way to make honest products of good quality?
Countries, like Cambodia and Bangladesh do not have a good name in the fashion industry. How come?
While doing research on that I stumbled upon shocking facts.
Here some of my findings...
When we take all this into account, are we still so happy to buy leggings for just €1,99? Are we really that pleased with that €10,- dress?
Who is REALLY paying for these cheap clothes?
I have spoken with multiple factory owners and employees as well and I found out how things work.
I'll explain it to you. Big retail companies often take very large orders, for which they do not pay very much.
You maybe ask yourself why factory owners agree to really bad payment.
The case is that there always is another, competing factory which is willing to do the work for less money; that is why a lot of factory owners feel forced to do the work for the (bad) offer that the big apparel company makes.
Even when the apparel company decides to halve the bid!
The consequences are that lots of times there should be cutbacks! Unfortunately not the clothes, but the workers have to suffer.
They get paid even less, make longer days, under worse circumstances.
The roof, which actually needs to be repaired, has to wait a little longer. Or people get fired and those who still have jobs, need to work even harder, without a raise or a compensation.
* The cost of living in these countries are much lower than for example in The Netherlands, but to make it more clear, with 100 euro's a month the only things most people can afford are a small cabin and a few bowls of rice a day.
There is no real perspective for the future and there is no money to send children to school; it actually is more surviving instead of living.
Is 'Fair Fashion' really that expensive in comparison to 'Fast Fashion'?
The other day I read about a research that was done in The Netherlands.
It said that the Dutch people throw away 70 million kilos of clothing.
I think that is unbelievable!! Do we really need that much clothing? Or maybe it's worth to spend a little bit more money on our new blouse, for example €49,99 (instead of €15) knowing that our new garment will 'live' much longer and we really do like it a lot? Additional: we have the security that the people who made it also get a good price for it!
Fortunately nowadays there are a lot of people with good initiatives; people who want to promote Fair Fashion.
After a lot of traveling and buying our clothes from brands in The Netherlands, we from Tantilly now have our own Tantilly-collection, for three years already!
Our Tantilly-collection consists of really cute blouses, nice tops, vests and dresses. The great thing is that everything is handmade!
Really old-school handmade, no factories or machinery!
By keeping things small I (Chantal) can control everything myself.
Before, when I bought clothes from wholesales, I could not control anything.
At the time I just had to believe those companies when they told me that it 'really was Fair Trade'. Nowadays I am going on a journey several times a year and I visit beautiful countries, where I have my clothing collection made. Little family businesses make my garments.
Dear families, that work under good conditions, make days no longer than 8 hours and that have real breaks in between!
A place where food is available for everybody.
A place where children can play or go to school instead of working or just sitting next to their mother's sewing-machine waiting for Mom to finish work. Places where workers do get paid fairly, so they are able to buy something extra for themselves or their family or even make plans for the future!
That feels much better, doesn't it? That top or dress that is made in such a good way! ;-)
That is what we call FAIR FASHION, super great and affordable fashion, that really came about in an honest way!
Great for us and great for the makers! :-)
To make the world a more beautiful place start with us, every day again...
Written by Chantal van Haaren and Jacoba Lamers.
Wanna learn more? Here some suggestions for you to watch!
- China Blue: This is an impressing and moving documentary story about apparel which is made in China and the stories behind the workers. You can watch this docu here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9gO9MgSO7A
- The True Cost: An impressing documentary about the controversial apparel industry and the well-being of the workers. You can find this docu on Netflix.
- Genaaid: A television-program about the fashion industry in poor countries, made by EO (Evangelical Broadcasting Organization) and presented by Jennifer Hoffman.
Note: Dutch spoken!