Fashion Freedom

Fair Trade Comes to Retail Clothing




The revolution that started in food is expanding to clothing: origins matter. With fair trade coffee and organic fruit now standard on grocery shelves, consumers concerned with industry working conditions, environmental issues and outsourcing are now demanding similar accountability for their T-shirts. As a result, some retailers have started supplying information about how and where their products are made.

“There’s real demand for sweat-free products,” observes Ian Robinson, Ph.D., a lecturer and research scientist at the University of Michigan who studies labor issues. “Consumers don’t have the information they need, and they do care.”

The New York Times reported that a recent factory collapse in Bangladesh might play a part in changing that. Loblaw Companies Limited, the parent company of Joe Fresh, which produced clothing there, has vowed to audit factories more aggressively and compensate the victims’ families. “The apparel industry can be a force for good,” vows Galen G. Weston, Loblaw’s chairman.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

After Plastic

As leading industries turn their attention to adopt sustainable principles, engineers and inventors are developing product packaging bioplastics that readily degrade.

Green Shoes

Living an eco-lifestyle extends to the shoes on our feet, with strategies that include better maintenance, eco-friendly materials and sustainability-savvy shoemakers.

Obsolete Packaging

A British supermarket chain plans to drastically lower its use of plastic packaging in 1,000 of its own-label products.

Eco Sneakers

With a compostable sneaker made of cotton and corn, Reebok is moving to reduce the negative impact of shoes on the environment.

Easy Mark

European supermarkets are cutting costs and saving energy by using high-tech lasers to mark prices on avocados, sweet potatoes and coconuts, with more to come.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags