garment industry


These incredible women inventors are creating our future and its gonna be incredible.

27 year old Isreali Danit Peleg has made it possible for us to 3D print our own clothes at home with her fully 3D Printed fashion collection.

Korean American Harvard graduate ‪‎Grace Choi made a 3D printer you can buy for under $300 and will allow anyone to print any colour of makeup at home using normal printer ink.

This means people who didn’t have access to shops before because of disabilities or living in a remote area can have access to clothing and makeup as and when they need it without paying for the cost of delivery or store mark-ups.

People who cant find clothes in their size or to fit their bodies can easily size up garments before printing and people who aren’t one of the four shades of beige that makeup companies produce can finally find products in their shade.

Peleg’s technology could lead to 3D printed menstrual pads and nappies meaning they can be printed in private without embarrassment at the checkout as they’re needed. It could even lead to 3D printed medical supplies in hospitals!

Choi’s technology could rid the beauty industry of its ridiculous mark-ups and provide more accessible beauty choices for everyone no matter their skin tone or budget. She has made it possible for us to take a photo of our friends lipstick and print it out- using normal printer ink. This could mean an end to cosmetic animal testing and a new future of accessible, cruelty-free beauty.

3D printers are a revolution- they’re going to be a huge part of our lives and its amazing women inventors like Peleg and Choi that are ensuring the human race can access their full potential.

Please remember their names!!! They deserve credit for shaping our future.

#BREAKING: 42 factory owners & government officials charged with murder of 1,100 workers in the infamous Bangladesh factory collapse.

The Rana Plaza disaster has led to an unprecedented legal consequence for those charged with ignoring workers’ basic rights: jail time and possibly a death sentence.

READ this article to learn more about a story that could further shake the global garment industry.

Who’s Really Paying for Our Cheap Clothes?

Earlier this month, H&M released its 110-page Conscious Action Sustainability Report, its 13th annual review of its green practices and efforts towards fair wages within its factories. Although many of its figures and initiatives are commendable (e.g. its in-store recycling program brought in around 13,000 tons of clothing; it aims to use 80 percent renewable electricity by year’s end; it’s inspecting more textile suppliers in order to improve working conditions), environmental and social advocates have pointed out some of the report’s inconsistencies.

First, Quartz shed light on the Swedish fashion giant’s use of cotton. While the company is the world’s number-one user of organic cotton, only 13.7 percent of the cotton H&M uses is organic. As we mentioned before, cotton is one of the most toxic crops in the world. The Organic Consumers Association says that cotton uses more than 25 percent of all the insecticides in the world and 12 percent of all the pesticides. Cotton is also incredibly water-intensive. The World Wildlife Fund says it takes 20,000 liters of water to produce one kilogram of cotton—the equivalent of a single T-shirt and a pair of jeans.

And although Greenpeace East Asia called H&M one of its leaders in their Detox Catwalk report last month for eliminating toxic perfluorinated chemicals in its products and banning the use of endocrine disrupting APs/APEOs and phthalates during manufacturing, the whole buy-and-discard mentality of fast fashion has been called into question.

As Quartz pointed out, H&M manufactures at least 600 million items annually for its 3,200 stores around the world, and that’s not even including its thousands of subsidiary brand stores, such as COS. The fashion chain also plans to open a net total of 400 new H&M stores and nine new online markets this year alone.

Fast fashion and e-commerce have presented people with more shopping choices than ever before, in turn causing more waste as more and more clothes are being discarded for new items. In fact, the average U.S. citizen tosses around 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles a year.

“Fundamentally, there is a disconnect between the idea that you are selling a tremendous amount of clothing in fast fashion and that you are trying to be a sustainable company,” said Linda Greer, who, as Natural Resources Defense Council′s (NRDC) senior scientist and director of Clean By Design, has helped H&M clean up its chemical-intensive textile dyeing and finishing process.

NRDC has partnered up with H&M and other prominent brands such as Target, Gap Inc. and Levi Strauss and Co. through the Clean By Design program to improve their environmental practices in textile mills in China. NRDC produced a new report last week which found that these sustainable fashion leaders save $14.7 million annually through major cuts in water, energy and chemical use.

“Great fashion can also be green fashion. Although apparel manufacturing is among the largest polluting industries in the world, it doesn’t have to be,” said Greer. “There are enormous opportunities for the fashion industry to clean up its act while saving money, and Clean By Design offers low-cost, high-impact solutions to do just that.”

In addition to fast fashion’s environmental input, another major concern is the poor conditions of the textile workers, especially in light of the 2013 Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh where more than 1,100 workers were killed (H&M did not have a contract with that factory.)

In 2013, the brand committed to paying 850,000 textile workers a “fair living wage” by 2018. The sustainability report said H&M is testing out a “pay-structure improvement method” in two factories in Bangladesh and one in Cambodia, where H&M is the sole client. The report said that its first evaluation has been carried out in its Cambodian factory and that “overtime has decreased, wages have risen, productivity has increased and dialogue between employer and employees has improved.”

However, the Clean Clothes Campaign, an alliance of garment industry labor unions and NGOs, has criticized the brand’s latest report for having “no real figures to show progress towards this goal” of a fair living wage.



Cambodian garment workers are demanding a double in their monthly minimum wage to $160 US. The current government is also feeling the heat as the opposition party has supported the strikers. After yesterday’s arrests, police opened fire with live ammunition on strikers blocking a highway south of Phnom Penh.

The local human rights group LICADHO also said in a statement that at least four civilians were shot dead and 21 injured in what it described as “the worst state violence against civilians to hit Cambodia in 15 years….No efforts have been made to prevent death and serious injury.”

Photos from the South China Morning Post.
Reporting from Al-Jazeera.


Beautifull Clothes, Ugly Reality…

Garment factory workers staged a fashion event called ‘Beautifull Clothes, Ugly Reality’ at the Worker’s Information Center in Phnom Penh, denouncing the poor working conditions and the current oppression they currently face in Cambodia. The participants held a fashion show, attended by some 200 people, wearing clothes from brands like Adidas, H&M and others which are being manufactured here. They also threaded the catwalk on songs by 'The Messengers’, a vocal group of former garment workers, while carrying signs saying 'We need rice, not bullets’, 'Drop the ban on public gathering now’ or 'We need a decent condition and dignity.

Today in labor history, August 22, 2010: Police open fire and attack with tear gas 2,000 garment workers who block a highway in Dhaka, Bangladesh, for three hours to demand that they be paid overdue wages. In 2010, the garment industry in Bangladesh raked in $12 billion, but the minimum wage for garment workers – working 10 to 16 hours a day under hazardous conditions, six days a week – was $24 a month.

Bangladesh’s $20 billion garment industry is virtually the only way out of poverty and illiteracy for the nation’s women and girls. In 2011, about 12% of Bangladesh women from ages 15 to 30 worked in the industry. For many women, the work is worth the risk of dangerous work conditions – including sacrificing an education. Researchers found that before the garment industry, 27% more young girls were attending school.

Read more via Bloomberg Businessweek.

Why don’t you care who made your clothes?

It’s the fluff, explains Bessy, a factory worker in Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel North and South. “Little bits, as fly off fro’ the cotton, when they’re carding it, and fill the air till it looks all fine white dust. They say it winds round the lungs, and tightens them up. Anyhow, there’s many a one as works in a carding-room, that falls into a waste, coughing and spitting blood, because they’re just poisoned by the fluff.”

It was not that long ago that death by byssinosis was a fairly common occupational hazard. Gaskell’s book was published in the 1850s – and it wasn’t until the late nineteenth century that legislation addressed adequate ventilation in UK. Since then, of course, most textile work has been outsourced abroad – and along with it, occupational death.

[…] A 2014 study of garment workers in Bangladesh found “the majority” suffered from ill health, ranging from musculoskeletal disorders, through to hepatitis – this latter from a lack of clean drinking water. In Tansy Hoskin’s book Stitched Up, she reveals that in the Pearl River Delta in China some 40,000 fingers are severed each year in work-related accidents. And of course, this week sees the two-year anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh.

The day before the illegally extended building caved in on itself, large cracks had been identified by an inspection team, and the workers were evacuated. The following day gangs were sent to beat reluctant workers into the building with sticks. As an added inducement they were threatened with having their wages docked by a month if they did not comply. Faced with a stark choice between certain death by starvation, and potential death by crushing, the workers took their chances on the building. 1,133 people lost that gamble, with a further 2,500 injured, many disabled permanently. Two years later, they are still waiting for brands to pay them compensation.

Rana Plaza made headlines around the world because of its sheer scale. But the reality is that workers are dying every day in order to produce the clothes that you are wearing as you read this article. They are dying to produce the clothes that I am wearing as I write it.

[After] 25 years of production and promotion, ethical fashion brands still represent less than one per cent of the market. For her, “the focus has to be on how we deal with the 99 per cent that’s the problem”.

Full article…

American Apparel’s “Made in Bangladesh” ad campaign objectifies a Bangladeshi American woman while doing absolutely nothing for the garment workers their PR team has been wringing their hands over.

Isn’t it time American Apparel put their money where their mouth is? We’re asking them to do more than just apologize: meet with South Asian women activists and make a meaningful contribution to building power, autonomy, and quality of life for Bangladeshi garment workers.