We all love cheap clothes, but ignore why they’re so cheap. Instinctively, we know why they’re cheap. It’s not because clothing lines have low profit margins. It’s because our clothes are made overseas for dirt cheap, but it comes a cost. This comedy video from John Oliver explains the importance of fair labor standards.
I understand the dilemma, I’ve been there. Clothing can get expensive, so we look for the cheapest deals. We know there’s a high possibility that because those clothes are so cheap, they weren’t made in the best conditions.
But since we’re on a tight budget, we ignore it.
Some of the biggest brands we purchase from have horrible track records. Their clothes are made in poor working conditions that they ignore.
John Oliver, a comedian on his show Last Week Tonight, exposes the high human cost of cheap clothing and the brands that choose to ignore it.
Warning: This is an adult-themed show with explicit language and jokes. Children and those offended by such content should not watch.
Knowing that many of the brands we purchase from often get their clothing from cheap labor working in terrible environments, it’s hard to know what to do next.
How do we get the brands to change their policies? Where should we buy our clothes?
A start is to know whether the brands you purchase from have transparent supply chains. Those that clearly identify and make public each piece of their supply chain from origin to store are more likely to regulate fair labor conditions.
Those that choose not to publish those supply chains tend to be questionable, as they do what John Oliver explained in the segment of contracting vendors who subcontract their work.
Free2Work is a great website that grades brands based on the transparency of their supply chains and the policies they have in place for worker’s rights and safe environments. Check out their report in the apparel industry (and any other industry) to see how your favorite brands rated.
Next comes the hard decision. Are you willing to stop shopping for brands that have poor working conditions for their suppliers?
You have the ability to change the world by choosing where you spend your money. This is your chance to ensure people are treated fairly, all starting with a few dollars.You have the ability to change the world by choosing where you spend your money. Click To Tweet
Are there brands that you were surprised by? Let us know in the comments.