HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY – TAKE ACTION NOW
Did you know that a young girl of 14 may have been trafficked to make your cotton t-shirt? Did you also know that you have the power to stop that from happening?
The 18-22nd of April is Fashion Revolution week and it is a great way for people to raise awareness and take action against the trafficking of people in the clothing industry.
MAKE FASHION TRAFFIK FREE CAMPAIGN
The MAKE FASHION TRAFFIK FREE campaign invites fashion lovers throughout the world to join together; urging retailers to take action to ensure human trafficking is not present in their supply chain. This is a global campaign with the fashion industry against human trafficking, calling on the public to let their voice be heard.
STOP THE TRAFFIK is committed to educating consumers on how to make purchasing habits that are TRAFFIK FREE. We are also equally committed to working with retailer and fashion label supplies to eliminate human trafficking within their supply chain.
The Make Fashion Traffik Free Protocol is a protocol for retail and fashion label suppliers to sign that shows they are making a 5-year commitment to:
- Tracing all suppliers back to the sourcing of the raw material
- Ensuring there is no trafficked labour in their supply chain through means such as suppliers codes of conduct
- Ensuring a robust social compliance program is in place and the orker voice is included
- Public reporting
Behind the barcode is an initiative hosted by Baptist World Aid with the intention of helping consumers rate how ethical their purchasing habits are based on trafficking. By downloading the Ethical Electronic Guide, consumers can easily see how the brands they purchase rate, and how ethical they really are.
By simply looking at your clothes it is hard to know whether someone has been trafficked for their production. Many consumers link poor factory sweatshop conditions with trafficking, but it doesn’t stop there.
Trafficking can start from the cotton picking, working its way up into factory sweatshops. Throughout this supply chain of garments, workers who are trafficked can be physically, emotionally and sexually abused.
THE HARSH REALITY…
Just over two years ago STOP THE TRAFFIK started a campaign with the aim of ending the trafficking of young women into the Tamil Nadu region of India. The female workers aged 14-23 were recruited with false promises of a good job and a lump sum payment under the guise of an ‘apprenticeship’ program known as Sumangali.
Once recruited many women instead found themselves trapped in the factory for up to five years and two out of three women never receiving their promised payment.
Instead, the women were subject to physical, emotional and sexual abuse. They had limited freedom, they had to sleep in hostels within the factory, had limited contact with their families, and were often forced to work up to 12 hour days, 6 days a week without their promised payment.
Since then the situation has seen improvements, but there is still more to do.
IS THIS HARSH REALITY FOR THOUSANDS OF WOMEN REALLY WORTH BUYING THE BRANDS THAT SUPPORT IT?
CONSUMER POWER – WHAT CAN YOU DO…
FASHION REVOLUTION WEEK
What is it?
Fashion Revolution Week is a fashion awareness week that aims to make consumers accountable for the clothes they buy. It is an educational week that prompts consumers to research the ‘true cost’ of their clothes in order to make their purchasing habits more ethical in the future.
What do you do?
During Fashion Revolution Week the consumer is prompted to wear their clothes inside out. They do this to become accountable for their purchasing habits and also to become aware of the ‘true cost’ of what they are purchasing. By wearing their clothes inside out the consumer should start to think about where their clothes have come from and whether slavery and trafficking have been a part of the production line of those clothing items.
Why it is important for you to get involved?
As consumers we have a huge impact on how companies operate through our purchasing habits. By insisting that companies who do not have a traffik-free production line have to make a change, and by supporting companies who already ensure that their clothing is traffik-free, we can make great steps to STOP THE TRAFFIK
OTHER WAYS OF GETTING INVOLVED
1. POSTCARD CAMPAIGN
Order postcards and send them to the companies you want to make TRAFFIK FREE. Postcards are a great, non-aggressive way to send an important message to your fashion labels.
2. HOST A FASHION EXCHANGE
By hosting a fashion exchange, it prompts consumers to recycle their clothes and provides a great opportunity to educate friends on how to make fashion TRAFFIK FREE
By working together on this amazing initiative, together we can STOP THE TRAFFIK.