1.) Why doesn’t Remake make shopping easy? You could grow your brand directory, build an App, become a for-profit social impact organization? It’s a win-win. You could diversify funding with affiliate marketing and we could all buy better.
We cannot shop our way into an ethical fashion future. To deal with fashion’s wicked problems we have to push for regulation through campaigning and building effective coalitions of citizens locking arms with the labor movement.
Read: “The Twilight of the Ethical Consumer”
2.) Why advocacy and activism? Why can’t Remake collaborate and consult with fashion brands to make them better? What if shouting at people doesn’t work?
CEOs have quietly noted the need to fund more activism as NGOs more frequent collaboration with businesses has weakened the will to uphold human rights. From a business’s perspective, Environmental, Social, and (Corporate) Governance (ESG) is NOT a strong enough case to pay workers fairly via better contracts. We do talk to brands constantly, but we know that campaigning and legislation are key to success. Simply put, sweatshops are highly profitable in today’s consolidated and deregulated fashion empire.
Read: “Business Executives Wanted to Be Pushed Towards Responsible Sourcing”
3.) Isn’t the climate crisis what we have to focus most on? Isn’t this more urgent than addressing worker wages?
Paying people more means we produce less and put out more sustainable products. This is our theory of change. The climate crisis cannot be addressed without a justice lens that puts people first.
Read: “Could Living Wages Help Solve Fashion’s Climate Crisis? New Research Says Yes”
4.) But if we buy less, don’t we hurt garment workers? Isn’t our economy reliant on growth?
The answer is — it’s complicated.
Here are three reasons why we still believe a key part of the solution for us as everyday shoppers is to buy less, keep clothes in circulation longer, and support brands that match our values:
- Our planet cannot sustain fast fashion’s business model.
- Sweatshops keep women trapped in a cycle of poverty and hurt garment makers.
- Repetitive, labor-intensive piecemeal work that women do inside garment factories will soon be replaced by automation. While the loss of these jobs is scary, there is a glimmer of hope. Machinery can take over the more dangerous jobs and some of the women who make our clothes will have the opportunity to do more skilled work and hopefully earn more money.
Read: “Does the Sustainable Fashion Movement Hurt Garment Makers?”