This fashion week Remakers want you to break up with fast fashion for good. Should you find yourself at at H&M, Forever21 or Zara in SoHo, Union Square or Times Square, you may find something extra special in your disposable fashion pocket. Messages directly from the women who make your clothes. Here’s what some of the woman behind your fashion want you to know:
Maud from Haiti
“Recently my back and neck has been hurting a lot more. But without this job, I have no way to support myself or my six siblings. After a long day, I walked across the river into my community, which is pitch dark at night. There is no electricity or running water, just human need everywhere. I want you to think about your sister Maud in Haiti when you put on your jeans.”
To lift garment makers’ wages to a living wage, consumers would only need to pay 5% more. (For $20 t-shirt, that’s $1 more.)
Rubina from Pakistan
“After all the injustices I’ve seen happen here, I’ve become a labor organizer. I go to management to demand that we are not harassed, paid on time, given proper food to eat. You would not believe the things I have seen. I think of you often. You having fun, wearing that hoodie I made on campus. I wonder if you think about me ever — the woman who made that for you?”
Over 60 million people make our clothes in factories around the world. 80% are women who are 18 to 24 years old.
Zheng Ming Hui from China
“I work 12 hours a day, looking at beautiful, bright patterns to make sure your t-shirt has no defects. I sleep in the factory dorm. My entire life is the factory. My family is far away in Yulian. My mother wishes I would call her more. But mostly I miss my grandmother. I only get to see my family once a year for Chinese New Year and mom makes the biggest feast. At night I dream of bungee jumping. I want to find someone to fall in love with and travel the world for work, taking pictures and telling stories. But for now, I am here, making sure your t-shirt looks nice. I picture you and I am sure you look BEAUTIFUL.”
Women in developing countries could be $9 trillion better off if their access to paid work were equal to that of men.
Char Wong from Cambodia
“I wanted a better life for myself and my family which is why I sew tops. But life has become harder. I get paid for every 12 pieces I stitch. But if there’s even a single error in the batch, I don’t get paid at all. My supervisor yells at me for making mistakes. Sometimes I cry from the stress and fear of not meeting my quota. However, you being here, listening, makes me hopeful.”
It takes a garment worker 18 months to earn what a fashion brand CEO makes on their lunch break. A majority of them earn less than $3 per day.
So Remakers if you’re in New York City, step into the SoHo, Union Square or Time Square locations of H&M, Zara or Forever21, take a selfie with the maker story and share on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter with #remakeourworld.
Together let’s insist that “Fashion stands with the women who make our clothes.”