Celebrating World Children's Day

Saving them from Exploitation through a Sustainable Fashion

In a consumerist world used to seeing new collections of fast fashion displayed in the shops, children are often victims. For companies, they are a cheap, complacent, and easy-to-exploit labor force.

The sad truth of child labor

Around 160 million children are employed worldwide. The reason many companies choose to use children is that they quickly go unnoticed. They are voiceless workers, so they are easy targets.

Today, although most companies have begun to track their suppliers' supply chains more closely, many still do not know where raw materials are sourced. Because of their vulnerability, many companies employ children rather than adults, both in agriculture (cotton production) and garment factories. If child labor were banned, labor would be scarcer, allowing adult workers to negotiate better wages and improve working conditions.

If children are paid less than adults for doing the same work, families are worse off. If adults are paid a living wage, their children may have the opportunity to receive an education.

There is no part of the fashion industry that contributes to a child's well-being. On the contrary, working long hours for little money will prevent them from having a more skilled job as an adult, as they will never have the opportunity to acquire skills in other areas.

How can you, as a customer, change this?

The world we live in encompasses a myriad of inequalities, which exacerbate the exploitation of millions of people. As informed citizens, we have a responsibility to bring about change. If consumers refuse to buy products from companies known to use child labor, brands will reform their labor policies.

How do we do that?

Our ethical brands make sure they positively impact both socially and environmentally. In fact, on the Social front, an ethical brand ensures its workers are treated fairly across the supply chain. The social commitment includes policies and practices on child labor, forced labor, worker safety, the right to join a union, and payment of a living wage.

So when you see that our brands are GOTS, SA8000, Sedex-SMETA, and BSCI certified, among others, it means that fair conditions and workers' rights are ensured. 

All social standards are based on the minimum criteria of the International Labour Organization (ILO), which include the following:

  • The objective is to pay living wages, at least the legal minimum wage
  • Ensuring health and safety at the workplace
  • Social security / employment contracts
  • Prohibition of child labor
  • No discrimination in the workplace

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