This year I will be doing a number of things to raise money for Labour Behind the Label.
- Hadrian’s Wall Trek – 8th September – 25 miles over 2 days with my good friend Antoinette.
- Swap Shop event – venue and date to be confirmed but keep your eyes peeled for an invite!
- Great North 10k – 9th July – 10k run in Gateshead.
Labour Behind the Label, based in Bristol, campaign worldwide for garment worker’s rights, supporting workers in their struggle to live in dignity and work in safety. They focus on relief of poverty, promotion of human rights and compliance with the law and ethical standards… not an easy task! They are only a small charity, with a very big job at hand, so every £ raised really does help. Click here to donate.
“Made in Turkey. Wash at 40 degrees. 100% cotton.” Garment labels give us some information, but tell us nothing about who made our clothes and the conditions they were working in. Even if we look beyond the labels and scour brands’ websites, it’s hard to find out much more. Believe me, I have tried.
“No-one should live in poverty for the price of a cheap t-shirt.”
When a label says “Made in Europe” should we breathe a sigh of relief? Unfortunately, no. Labour Behind the Label study ‘Labour on a Shoe String’ shows how garment workers in Eastern Europe and the Balkans face severe wage poverty, it was found that shoes labelled “made in Italy” or “made in Germany” are often part-produced in Eastern Europe and the Balkan states, the shoes are then shipped back to the country of origin for labelling and retail.
But imagine if every item you wore, you knew exactly which factory it was made in and whether the workers had secure contracts, whether they worked in safe conditions, and whether they earned a living wage. This level of transparency is a long way off, but Labour Behind the Label is pushing for it. That is why I am supporting them. With knowledge like this we could really start to challenge the brands, make conscious decisions when buying, boycott those that do not treat workers ethically and push for change within the industry.
The garment industry turns over almost $3 Trillion a year. Yet garment workers, 80% of them women, work for poverty pay, earning as little as $21 a month. Poverty wages, long hours, forced overtime, unsafe working conditions, sexual, physical and verbal abuse, repression of trade union rights and short term contracts are all commonplace in the clothing industry. It is an industry under huge demands due to fast fashion that is built on exploitation and growing under a lack of transparency that makes holding brands accountable difficult. Labour Behind the Label are dedicated to changing this. I am dedicated to change this.
Thanks to all of you that have donated! It really means a lot. Be sure that I will keep you posted on my challenges.