Have the term 'fast-fashion ever cross your mind?
What does it entail to produce a massive sum of textiles in an unrelated amount of time? Let me help you out? It means a shift in the fashion industry, which results in faster production with lower costs, and then the big question is how is this possible? At first, this looks like a beneficial change, most especially in the general demand and supply.
We can afford more cloth because they cost less. However, we must consider how this is done and how the industry can have accomplished this milestone. What does it cost?
Ever since the supply and demand chain revolution, 1990
, the fashion and textile industry has reached a high point of switching fashion trends, presenting more than an average collection to consumers annually. The quick switch of the season has led to 'sweatshop' factories where employees work from 12-14
hours per day without being compensated for their overtime working hours.
However, there have been actively implemented by fashion brands to have a corporate social responsibility in ensuring that there is equal treatment along the supply chain. It is unfortunate that some companies do not feel socially responsible for their workers and will exhaust textile factory workers to increase their self-profit and interest faster, which leads to right labor violations in developing countries.
A fundamental human right is a right to a living wage which allows the worker and his family to meet basic needs.
However, many big companies' workers are being denied this right by working for long hours and are being paid low wages that meet the legal minimum, which is by far low beyond living wage. Most painful is that workers do not have the right to complain if he/she wants to retain their position.
The main problem is caused by several factors ranging from loopholes in the national laws not regarding the government directives of minimum wages and retailers and factories producing in bulk. But the core of the problem is a deeply rooted capitalist mindset that prioritizes capital over anything else, even to the contest of workers' rights and human dignity. When a company's primary goal is how to maximize profit, sustainability is often neglected.
They strive to get rid of anything that decreases profit banks. Workers become disposable, just like the fiber they manufactured at their factories.
The way out of this worker's right violation is transparency, which can ensure global textiles, making factories where bosses abuse workers' rights.
Factories workers, unions, NGO organizations should call on these companies to take a step to ensure that abuse stops and workers get what they truly deserve.
How to solve this problem?
There is no 100% idea or solution because we are with this for years
Maybe if companies will be more open to the public, when end-users of products understand how this product is produced, we will see positive steps.
Publishing supply chain information builds the trust of workers, consumers, and labor advocates, and investors and sends a strong message that Textile Company does not fear being accountable when right labor abuses are found in its supply chain. Such an audacity company can operate in the global economy, and its supplier factories are more credible.
Today, many leading companies, including YARN&FABRIC
, have disclosed at least their factories' names and addresses, making them accountable, dependable, and transparent in the company workers' proper evaluation. The more workers right is being implemented publicly, the more likely it is for abused workers' right violation to be reported- this information may be made publicly exposed or to the sector whose supply chain is implicated. With that, It is believed that workers would begin to see the bright light beyond this current dark tunnel, and hopefully, the problems will be solved.