It’s 2018. And 40 million people are enslaved.
Today is the UN’s World Day Against Human Trafficking. And if you’re shocked that the enslavement of other people still exists, we’re with you. Not only is human trafficking a major problem, the total number of people that are currently enslaved in the world exceeds the population of California. And over 70 percent these victims are women.
Trafficking and forced labor has ballooned into a $150 billion a year illicit industry and much of this is fueled by what we buy. According to the Global Slavery Index, each year the world’s richest countries import over $350 billion in products that are suspected of being produced using slave labor. More than 40 percent of these products end up in the United States.
Furthermore, the rise of ‘Fast Fashion’ and similar consumption trends have given way to an unsatisfiable demand for more, faster, cheaper. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
What is Fast Fashion?
Today, over 100 billion articles of clothing are consumed annually. The rate of apparel consumption has doubled in recent decades with consumers hanging onto each item for half the time. To encourage this turnover and boost profits, the clothing industry has created as many as 52 ‘micro-seasons,’ which result in new releases every week and leave consumers feeling out of style.
"The rate of apparel consumption has doubled in recent decades with consumers hanging onto each item for half the time." [Share This]
To meet the demand, suppliers overseas rely on forced labor. Using inter-generational debt, promises of free education, and other methods, these producers lure children as young as ten into a life of slavery. And in addition to unsafe, inhumane treatment of workers, fast fashion is the second largest polluter in the world and that’s without taking into account the many hazardous chemicals that wind up in our clothing.
What can we do about it?
How we shop matters. But how can you tell which clothes were made ethically?
To start, examine the tag. The price of an article of clothing includes the cost sourcing, storing, manufacturing, transporting, and packaging it—including the wages paid to every human being included in this supply chain. So, when you see a name-brand dress that’s on sale for $12.99, that should raise some pretty big questions.
You can also be sure to spend your dollars on brands that are fair trade certified and shop locally in your neighborhood. However, by far, the quickest and easiest solution is to use a platform like DoneGood. With the DoneGood Shop and browser plugin, you can shop thousands of ethical and sustainable products while receiving automatic recommendations for better alternatives instantly as you browse online.
Below are just a few of the many DoneGood-approved brands that are supporting the survivors of human trafficking while helping to build a slavery-free supply chains. You can find these and more on the Fashion for Freedom Shop, created in partnership with Free the Slaves, one of the world’s most effective anti-human trafficking organizations.
Starfish Project provides counseling, housing, and living wage jobs to trafficking survivors through beautiful handmade jewelry.
Save 20% off your first order with promo code DONEGOOD
As unique as the people who make them, tonlé’s chic, zero-waste garments are artfully made by Cambodian women using reclaimed fabrics.
Save $20 off orders over $100 with promo code tonledonegood20
Krochet Kids, Intl.
A non-profit empowering artisans in high-risk areas of Uganda and Peru with wages 10x above the regional average, KK’s makers hand make and sign all apparel they create.
Save 20% off your first order with promo code DoneGood25
Design meets function with CAUSEGEAR’s life-changing bags and accessories, handcrafted by women and men freed from trafficking and extreme poverty in India.
Save 20% off your first order with promo code CGGOOD20
Classy yet casual, Elegantees clothes are sewn and signed by women overcoming sex trafficking in Nepal.
Save $20 off orders over $100 with promo code DONEGOOD
Head of Good Community, DoneGood
Reformed Hollywood agent turned digital strategist who went on to nurse his karma in the world of philanthropy.