Why Redress Fashion?
- The cost of cotton: Cotton subsidies
- The cost of cotton: Dirty cotton
- The cost of cotton: Funding exploitation
- Sweat-shopping: Introduction
- Ethical Commitments
- Sweatshopping: Feeling the 'squeeze'
- Sweat-shopping: The role of companies
- Sweat-shopping: A change of clothing
- FAQ: Where can we find an 'ethical' supplier?
- Redress Fashion Campaign Resources
Exploitation, from Seed…
Image © EJF
Unless you’re reading this naked, you’re probably wearing cotton right now. Grown across the world for hundreds of years, from Azerbaijan to Zambia, cotton has been dubbed ‘white gold’ for its ability to generate huge wealth.
However, little of this wealth reaches those who do most of the work. Millions of workers, reliant on cotton for their income, labour under tough, dangerous conditions, often with no guarantee of even covering the costs of production. Meanwhile a lucky few, far from the fields, reap cotton’s rich rewards.
Image © iStockphoto.com/Pali Rao
Conditions do not improve on the factory floor. Poverty wages, long hours, and a denial of basic rights remain the norm for workers in the garment industry. Most of the clothes sold on our high streets or branded with our universities’ logos are made under these conditions.
It’s time to Redress Fashion
99% of workers in the cotton industry live in developing countries. 100 million rural households are involved in cotton production. Most of this cotton is consumed in the West: North America and Europe alone account for nearly half of global cotton consumption.
In 2005, Philip Green, owner of Topshop claimed a 1.2 billion share dividend — enough to double the salaries of Cambodia’s entire garment workforce for 8 years.