In the modern apparel industry, it is all too common for large corporations to lean heavily on worker exploitation and dismiss the mass quantities of pollution and waste they create.
Fast fashion is a term that is used to describe how clothing quickly moves from fashion week expos to the retail stores around the world. This method is based on creating a high demand for new fashion, then ‘optimizing the supply chain’ in order to drive down costs and quickly move products onto shelves and racks. But what does ‘optimizing the supply chain’ really mean?
Optimizing this process means driving production costs so low that worker well being is compromised in order to create larger profit margins on products. Production costs go down, prices drop and millions of consumers buy products that increase revenues for companies that don’t benefit workers like H&M, Primark, and Zara. It’s really not about fashion or style at all, it’s about selling the most product possible.
The problem is that machines are expensive and wages are cheap, especially in developing countries where opportunity is a commodity. Driving costs down translates into workers being paid sometimes less than 160 US dollars a month, barely a livable wage. It also means that ethical and environmental standards are not at the top of the priority list. These type of manufacturing facilities are dumping toxic dyes into water ways, forcing workers to sew in extreme heat for long hours, and wasting an ungodly amount of fabric.
As consumers we are the ones who have the leverage to stop this from continuing. Many times the large corporations are blamed for all these problems, and trust me I think they deserve it… but the reality is, consumers are the ones who perpetuate it. We demand this fast fashion, we buy these clothes, and in effect we support these practices. So UYB believes it starts with the consumer, by making the decision to be informed and to stand against the current practices of the garment manufacturing industry, we can begin to support a better story.
Understand Your Brand believes that fashion does not need come at the expense of destroying the earth or reducing the quality of life for others.
As consumers, we have the power to transform how our clothes are made; by continually to asking and understanding what is truly behind our clothes, we can support brands that are responsible.
We need to understand that our clothing is not just about colors and style, but each article of clothing has a journey and a story that we inherently represent, support and invest in.
The ‘Wear It On Your Sleeve’ tee campaign is designed to challenge the modern apparel industry. By purchasing a shirt and sharing this campaign with your friends you are ensuring that the story you represent is a good one.
This is our first product that we are launching and we believe that by using sustainably sourced recycled material, minimizing waste whenever possible, and ensuring that everyone in the supply chain is paid a livable wage, we can fight the lack of corporate responsibility and ethical standard in this world of fast fashion.