Who Made My Clothes?
This week is Fashion Revolution Week; a time to honor garment workers lost in the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, and a week of advocacy to encourage sustainability and transparency in fashion supply chains. We here at Ten Thousand Villages are proud to offer fair trade, ethical fashion options year round, and we encourage all of our supports to ask – “Who Made My Clothes?”.
Ethical Fashion 101
The Ethical Fashion Forum defines ethical fashion as
“an approach to the design, sourcing and manufacture of clothing which maximizes benefits to people and communities while minimizing impact on the environment“.
Ethical fashion is an umbrella term encompassing a number of diverse methods of sourcing, manufacturing and selling clothing, including fair trade fashion, eco-fashion, handmade clothing, and philanthropic fashion.
At Ten Thousand Villages, we carry a range of fair trade brands from around the world. These organizations uphold rigorous social and environmental and standards to promote safe working conditions, protect the environment, and empower communities to build strong, thriving businesses.
In our new location on Burnet Road, we have room to carry fair trade fashion year round! Here are some of the brands we are excited to carry this Spring:
Mata Traders is a design driven, fair trade brand helping to end global poverty and inspire ethical companies and consumers to change the fashion industry-made by artisans in India and Nepal.
Ganesh Himal imports directly from small cottage industries in Nepal, including development projects working to improve the lives of Tibetan refugees and women. They have worked with many of our producer groups for over 25 years with the goal to support work that enhances people’s lives and traditions.
Global Mamas are mothers, wives, grandmothers, sisters, talented entrepreneurs, and leaders of their communities in Ghana. There are nearly 600 producers from 7 different communities. They believe that investing in women yields profound returns not only for the women involved but also for their families and the society at large.
Sevya is an organization working with co-operatives and artisan groups throughout India that have little access to marketing avenues. In many of these communities the entire village is involved in some aspect of producing the craft.
Marketplace Handwork of India grew from a small-scale venture to help women living in the slums of Mumbai in the 1980s. Many of the women have been deprived of educational opportunities and some have faced hostility and discrimination due to their religion, marital status or health.
Ethical Fashion on Burnet Road
Another great way to dress ethically and avoid ‘fast fashion’ is to thrift shop. Some great options in our neighborhood include Top Drawer, Assistance League, and Savers, all of which support local nonprofits with their proceeds. By shopping secondhand, you can help to protect the environment and reduce waste, as well as supporting our local community.
Want to learn more about Ethical Fashion? Join us this Sunday for our own Fashion Revolution Day event and film screening!