Human Trafficking in the Fashion Industry
What is human trafficking and why should we think about it when we are getting dressed?
You may have seen here before but fashion is the second largest user of slaves globally.
What does that even mean?
Human trafficking is when someone (or a whole family unit) gets tricked then in some way trapped in a situation where they are being used as a commodity. This doesn't mean held at gun point; the cheapest way to trap someone is not to physically contain them, but to economically cripple them so they don't have any other option.
One example of this is how this plays itself out in small towns across SE Asia. A large company may contact a reputable manufacturing company in SE Asia. That company may comply with all international standards but in order to take the orders and turn a profit they often will turn around and contact small manufactures where no standards are being placed upon them - much less being enforced. These are the situations where you find the heaviest population of trafficking (or exploited people).
The exploited people may be paid, however the pay is so small that they cannot provide adequately for their family. There may not be any other supplemental work because the area is so heavily invested in manufacturing. If there is any kind of stand taken by the employees to voice their frustration with the poor working conditions and lack of proper pay, they could be easily replaced with others that just need food for their family that night.
This is economic entrapment.
We are strong women. We are of a generation who has been educated, empowered, and equipped to change things. It is within our ability to change these global economic systems through our shopping habits.
An informed and determined group of people can change the world.
Let's be those people.