With yet another tragedy occurring at a sweatshop factory building in Bangladesh this week and reform calls getting louder, we’re thinking about ways to buy fashion from retailers who are transparent about their labor practices, who treat their workers well, and who’ve committed to elevating artisans rather than degrading local populations.
Maiyet: Finally, a luxury brand that celebrates artisans' skills. Maiyet seeks out and forges partnerships with global master craftsmen while investing in a development program to ensure the next generation of artisans exists. You can even shop Maiyet's site according to the countries where the line is made (Colombia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, New York, and Vietnam).
Everlane: We were already on board with Everlane for their middleman-free, reasonably priced luxury basics for both men and women. Now they've introduced "Radical Transparency," which offers customers both a factory policy they can have faith in and the ability to see how and why their clothing costs what it does.
Industry of all Nations
Industry of All Nations: Though it's an apt title for the globalized fashion industry at large, Industry of all Nations lives up to its name in a healthy way. While promoting environmental and social awareness through fair trade, IOAN makes an effort to bring manufacturing to the regions where its products and materials originate.
Nudie Jeans: The Swedish denim line is clear about its living wage policy. They also recycle their old denim into rugs, use organic cotton in all their products, and advocate "slow denim" by weaving the material for their selvedge jeans on old-fashioned shuttle looms.
IOU Project: The IOU Project seeks to employ everyone sustainably, including you. Traditional Indian artisan weavers are celebrated by the brand, filmed at their work so you can see who made your clothes. The cloth is shipped to Italy, where it's turned into garments by skilled workers. Both BLANKS' stories are posted online. The clothing itself can be purchased directly, or it can be bought from "trunk shows" hosted by the brand's own fans (and yes, they get a cut of the profits).