India Factory Fire 8/2/20

On 9/02/2020, a fire at the Nandan Denim factory in India killed 7 workers (death toll may rise), as workers in the department where the fire struck struggled with ventilation and escaping through the only entry/exit available.

Several companies are named in Nandan Denim’s annual report as brands that supply from the factory. These brands should have been aware of the poor conditions their workers were in, and the fire hazards that resulted in the deaths of those 7 workers.

Below are ways you can get in contact with the brands involved. I’ve tried to make this as easy as possible so literally just control c and control v the stuff and lets seek accountability.

News article:

Fire Kills Seven in Indian Factory that Made Denim for Major US Brands

https://www.thedailystar.net/business/news/denim-factory-fire-leaves-7-dead-india-1866496

Twitter:

A fire in a factory supplying denim for major brands has killed 7 workers, as they struggled to escape. According to an Nandan Denim report, brands affiliated with the factory incl. @zara @Target @RalphLauren @Primark @VFCorp – how was this allowed to happen under you watch?

@zara 7 workers have died following a factory at a fire supplying denim to Zara in India, how was this allowed to happen under your watch and what will you do to support the victims and families of the deceased? 

@Target  7 workers have died following a factory at a fire supplying denim to Target in India, how was this allowed to happen under your watch and what will you do to support the victims and families of the deceased? 

@VFCorp 7 workers have died following a factory at a fire supplying denim to VF Corp in India, how was this allowed to happen under your watch and what will you do to support the victims and families of the deceased? 

@RalphLauren  7 workers have died following a factory at a fire supplying denim to Ralph Lauren in India, how was this allowed to happen under your watch and what will you do to support the victims and families of the deceased?

@Primark 7 workers have died following a factory at a fire supplying denim to Primark in India, how was this allowed to happen under your watch and what will you do to support the victims and families of the deceased? 

Instagram caption template

On 8 February 2020, garment workers at a denim factory were killed in a factory fire in India. The death toll so far is 7. There was little ventilation and workers were unable to escape quickly through the single exit. Brands listed as clients of Nandan Denim include @zara @target @vfcorp @ralphlauren @primark. Time and time again brands have proven their workers’ lives are last on their list of priorities, despite their million dollar profits.

 

 

Fashion Factfiles #4: WHERE DO YOUR DONATED CLOTHES REALLY GO?

Hey guys, another Fashion Factfiles post!

This month, I’m changing it up a bit. We won’t be looking at issues within the production of garments themselves, but rather what happens to much of our clothing once we’re done with them and have donated it to charity.

Oh you thought they’d all be sold and bought by people to reuse?

Not exactly.

Welcome to another episode of: Calling out the West and its neo-colonial practices!

Continue reading “Fashion Factfiles #4: WHERE DO YOUR DONATED CLOTHES REALLY GO?”

Fashion Factfiles #3: The Sumangali System

Hey guys, happy February and welcome to another Fashion Factfiles blogpost!

The Fashion Factfiles is where we expose the brutal realities of the garment industry, the side that the big corporations and big names in fashion work hard to hide behind ‘girl power’ tees and ‘look at us recycling omg we do care’ campaigns.

This month we’ll be highlighting an issue that many may not be familiar with, but is absolutely horrific and heartbreaking: the Sumangali System.

WARNING: Content regarding sexual abuse and suicide throughout.

Continue reading “Fashion Factfiles #3: The Sumangali System”

LET’S TALK ABOUT ETHICAL FASHION PLS

Ethical fashion: ‘an approach to the design, sourcing and manufacture of clothing which maximises benefits to people and communities while minimising impact on the environment.’
Ethical Fashion Forum

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(Source: https://airrclothingblog.com/2015/03/06/brand-profile-beaumont-organic-available-at-airr-clothing/)

Wow. Where do I begin?

Actually let me begin with this disclaimer: ANY CRITICISM I MAY MAKE ABOUT CERTAIN SITUATIONS/ORGANISATIONS/GROUPS OF PEOPLE IS NOT AN ATTACK ON THESE PEOPLE AS INDIVIDUALS BUT THE SYSTEM FROM WHICH THEY HAVE DERIVED FROM.

Continue reading “LET’S TALK ABOUT ETHICAL FASHION PLS”

September Exposé: Louis Vuitton

Hey guys! Another exposé and this time it’s slightly different.

Generally, there is a wide assumption that, due to the hugely excessive price tags luxury brands place on their products, more money is invested in fair wages, safe work conditions, ethically sourced materials etc.

NAH.

This month, I’m going to prove that this is not the case, by exposing a rather well known luxury brand…

LOUIS VUITTON

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We see our faves wearing their attire, the A list models stunting on the catwalk in all LV everything, their over the top blockbuster-esque adverts that make me think wow is it really that deep. But don’t be fooled by the glitz and glam of it all. 

From torturing animals, to poor working conditions, to refusing to disclose any information regarding their supply chain, its time we digged a lil deeper into why we need to be wary of luxury brands such as this one.

P.S. I really struggled to get the line ‘Louis Vuitton under her underarm’ out of my head during this whole process.

Continue reading “September Exposé: Louis Vuitton”

Fashion Factfiles #1: Cotton Farmer Suicides in India

The epidemic of cotton farmer suicides is not a recent thing. Between 1995 and 2013, there is believed to have been 60,750 suicides, meaning an average of 10 farmers taking their own lives every day. Between January and April just this year, Maharashtra, India, reported 852 farmer suicides; an average of seven farmer suicides, reported every single day.

There are several reasons why so many cotton farmers are pushed to the point of ending their lives. However, the majority of these causes, including climate change and lack of micronutrients in the soil, have been exacerbated or caused by a far greater problem farmers are faced with: MONSANTO.

Continue reading “Fashion Factfiles #1: Cotton Farmer Suicides in India”

When looking beautiful becomes ugly

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Let’s explore animal testing in the cosmetic industry! Note that the above photo is not an accurate representation of animal testing.

While the following arguments are made for animal testing:

  • animals are a close match to humans 
  • it can help to improve human health and has contributed to saving lives 
  • animals benefit from this so that we can produce vaccines for them 
  • ETC

We have to ask if it is vital and reasonable to test on animals for the cosmetics industry.

Typically rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats and mice are used for the cosmetics industry.

Tests consist of:

  • rubbing chemicals onto shaved skin
  • chemicals dripped into eyes
  • repeated force feeding to induce 
  • inducing cancer and birth defects
  • determining the dose of chemicals that cause death

The results on animals can cause

  • blindness
  • swollen eyes
  • sore bleeding skin
  • internal bleeding
  • organ damage
  • convulsions
  • and obviously death

Is it really necessary? Do we need to have new innovative make up that could possibly harm us, so it has to be tested on animals first.

Basically, should animals suffer so that we can look our best.

Well, that’s a personal choice! Some argue that animals don’t have moral judgement so we can do what we like *major eye roll*. I’m sure many of us believe that we should:

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There are alternatives to using animals such as using human reconstructed skin. Or using methods that have already been tried and tested and do not require further treatment.

So why do companies continue to test on animals? Well recently NARS admitted they test on animals and their reason?
“We must comply with the local laws of the markets in which we operate, including in China.”

To which many make up lovers responded “animal lives are more important than reaching another market” and eco beauty blogger Ana Goes Green responded “the China market is a bit of a poisoned chalice for beauty brands at the moment”.

Animal testing has been banned in all 28 EU member states, Norway, India and Australia, so it is possible!

So what can we do? Here is a list of actions that Humane Society International suggest:

  • Sign the global Be Cruelty-Free pledge to show your support for banning animal testing for cosmetic products and ingredients.
  • Support us by becoming a Lab Animal Defender with our monthly donor program, or make a one-time donation to help us expand our Be Cruelty-Free campaign and save more animals.
  • Shop—buy only from companies that say no to animal testing and to newly developed and animal-tested ingredients. Download your own Leaping Bunny Global Shopping Guide.
  • Contact your favorite brands and urge them to make the leap to cruelty-free. Ask whether the company 1) animal-tests its products or ingredients, 2) purchases newly developed ingredients that have been animal-tested by the supplier, or 3) sells its products to countries like China that may require new animal testing. If the answer to any of these questions is yes, put the product back on the shelf.
  • Make some noise—follow us on Twitter @HSIGlobal and tweet about the campaign using hashtag #BeCrueltyFree. Like us on Facebook, too, and share our news and actions with your friends.

If you are interested to switching to cruelty free brands check out these guys:

  • Lush 
  • PHBethical (certified halal too!)
  • Kat Von D
  • Two Faced
  • Bare Minerals
  • Pixi

Find more below in the further reading section!

Brands who aren’t cruelty free:

  • MAC
  • Clinique
  • Loreal
  • Maybelline

Please note that you should look further into the brand to ensure they do not support other unethical practices such as supporting wars, racism, unfair treatment of factory workers.

Further reading:
https://www.buzzfeed.com/sarahhan/cruelty-free-makeup-brands?utm_term=.wtZEjMj75#.jj4mG2G1g

http://www.hsi.org/issues/becrueltyfree/facts/about_cosmetics_animal_testing.html
https://axiologybeauty.com/blogs/our-blog/53155205-why-is-makeup-tested-on-animals
http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/40440306/nars-make-up-boycotted-after-cosmetics-tested-on-animals-in-china

https://greengarageblog.org/12-pros-and-cons-of-animal-testing-on-cosmetics
http://animal-testing.procon.org

The Shy Activist- Beware of the Plastics

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The world is in love with plastics for many reasons. Not the Mean Girls plastics, everyone hates them.

But the water bottles, shavers, cutlery, toothbrushes etc. It’s lightweight, flexible, durable and versatile. It’s advanced medicine, transport, electronics – and food packaging. It’s great right!

But did you know that the demand for these disposable items mean that plastic is produced at 350m tonnes per years and it’s continuously increasing.

The trouble with this is that plastic never breaks down and every piece of plastic ever made is still living somewhere on our planet. Some of these plastics can be recycled and continue living on earth as a new product. Margarine and ice cream tubs, yogurt pots, fruit punnets and ready meal trays, drink, shampoo and detergent bottles could be reincarnated if you like.

However, there are many different types of plastic and the sorting process is very labor intensive.

“Only 14 per cent of plastic packaging is recycled, with the remainder, worth £60-90 billion worldwide lost as waste.”

There are plastics that can’t be recycled including plastic wrap, cling film, bubble wrap (I know it hurts, I’m sorry), plastic bags, crisp packets, sweet wrappers, polystyrene, soft plastic/metallic packaging, plastic bottle caps TO NAME BUT A FEW.

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Simon Ellin the Chief of the Recycling Association singled out Pringles, Lucozade, supermarket black plastic meat trays and cleaning spray bottles to be themes difficult/impossible to recycle.

So one major problem is that we keep producing tonnes and tonnes and tonnes of plastic and were just leaving it around the world. But there are other negative impacts.

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Look at this little guy. He shouldn’t be eating plastic. He should be eating plants and insects! But the poor thing and 100,000 other marine creatures like him are eating plastic and 10% of marine life have died from being entangled in plastic bags that we are manufacturing and not taking responsibility for. It’s said that by 2050 there could be more plastic in the sea that fish!

It also pollutes the air, land and water as well as exposing worker to toxic chemicals when it’s being manufactured and incinerated. “Serious accidents have included explosions, chemical fires, chemical spills, and clouds of toxic vapor. These kinds of occurrences have caused deaths, injuries, evacuations and major property damage.”

Plastics used in cooking and food storage is also affecting our health. Chemicals that are typically hormone-mimicking and endocrine disrupters are evidenced to be coming from plastics.

There is a link between these chemicals and health problems “chromosomal and reproductive system abnormalities, impaired brain and neurological functions, cancer, cardiovascular system damage, adult-onset diabetes, early puberty, obesity and resistance to chemotherapy. Exposure to BPA at a young age can cause genetic damage, and BPA has been linked to recurrent miscarriage in women. The health risks of plastic are significantly amplified in children, whose immune and organ systems are developing and are more vulnerable.  The evidence of health risks from certain plastics is increasingly appearing in established, peer-reviewed scientific journals.”

We can tackle plastic pollution and we should as soon as possible. In fact there is a prize of £1.5million prize for environmentally friendly packaging design, backed by the conservation charity the Ellen MacArthur Foundation – New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize.

Chris Grantham from the London branch of the global design consultancy Ideo said, designers would need to produce items that could be used again and again as pressure on materials increases from a growing population.
Mr Grantham’s ideas about how to tackle the issue include; if products are bought online products do not need branding and complex designs; supermarkets can fit a mini projector to project branding onto blank containers.

Here’s a short list of ways to reduce plastic pollution with your own bare hands from the Natural Resources Defences Council:

1. Wean yourself off disposable plastics.
Ninety percent of the plastic items in our daily lives are used once and then chucked: grocery bags, plastic wrap, disposable cutlery, straws, coffee-cup lids. Take note of how often you rely on these products and replace them with reusable versions. It only takes a few times of bringing your own bags to the store, silverware to the office, or travel mug to Starbucks before it becomes habit.

2. Stop buying water.
Each year, close to 20 billion plastic bottles are tossed in the trash. Carry a reusable bottle in your bag, and you’ll never be caught having to resort to a Poland Spring or Evian again. If you’re nervous about the quality of your local tap water, look for a model with a built-in filter.

3. Boycott microbeads.
Those little plastic scrubbers found in so many beauty products—facial scrubs, toothpaste, body washes—might look harmless, but their tiny size allows them to slip through water-treatment plants. Unfortunately, they also look just like food to some marine animals. Opt for products with natural exfoliants, like oatmeal or salt, instead.

4. Cook more.
Not only is it healthier, but making your own meals doesn’t involve takeout containers or doggy bags. For those times when you do order in or eat out, tell the establishment you don’t need any plastic cutlery or, for some serious extra credit, bring your own food-storage containers to restaurants for leftovers.

5. Purchase items secondhand.
New toys and electronic gadgets, especially, come with all kinds of plastic packaging—from those frustrating hard-to-crack shells to twisty ties. Search the shelves of thrift stores, neighborhood garage sales, or online postings for items that are just as good when previously used. You’ll save yourself a few bucks, too.

6. Recycle (duh).
It seems obvious, but we’re not doing a great job of it. For example, less than 14 percent of plastic packaging is recycled. Confused about what can and can’t go in the bin? Check out the number on the bottom of the container. Most beverage and liquid cleaner bottles will be #1 (PET), which is commonly accepted by most curbside recycling companies. Containers marked #2 (HDPE; typically slightly heavier-duty bottles for milk, juice, and laundry detergent) and #5 (PP; plastic cutlery, yogurt and margarine tubs, ketchup bottles) are also recyclable in some areas. For the specifics on your area, check out Earth911.org’s recycling directory.

7. Support a bag tax or ban.
Urge your elected officials to follow the lead of those in San Francisco, Chicago, and close to 150 other cities and counties by introducing or supporting legislation that would make plastic-bag use less desirable.

8. Buy in bulk.
Single-serving yogurts, travel-size toiletries, tiny packages of nuts—consider the product-to-packaging ratio of items you tend to buy often and select the bigger container instead of buying several smaller ones over time.

9. Bring your own garment bag to the dry cleaner.
Invest in a zippered fabric bag and request that your cleaned items be returned in it instead of sheathed in plastic. (And while you’re at it, make sure you’re frequenting a dry cleaner that skips the perc, a toxic chemical found in some cleaning solvents.)

10. Put pressure on manufacturers.
Though we can make a difference through our own habits, corporations obviously have a much bigger footprint. If you believe a company could be smarter about its packaging, make your voice heard. Write a letter, send a tweet, or hit them where it really hurts: Give your money to a more sustainable competitor.

So you know what to do. Go do it. Please.

FAIR FAVOURITES

Mean It fashion- it was hard to stop choosing things I like from here. What a great selection!

“Our mission is to source ethical fashion around the world and offer well-designed, desirable and luxurious pieces in one marketplace. Clothing and accessories designed and produced in a sustainable way, using environment-friendly materials. Vegan pieces. Fair trade and upcycled items. All made by teams that have control over the production process, making sure there is no wrongdoing in any sense. Brands we are very proud to sell.”

Maya Day Dreamer Maxi Dress

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Kelly Cotton Chambray Shirt Dress

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Queenie Dress

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Verushka Denin Skirt

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https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/16/toxic-timebomb-why-we-must-fight-back-against-the-worlds-plague-of-plastic

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-39953209

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4519380/Prince-Charles-Dame-Ellen-MacArthur-tackle-plastics.html

https://www.lifewithoutplastic.com/store/the_plastic_problem#.WSAkiXeZPqQ

http://www.plasticsindustry.com/plastics-environment.asp

http://www.therecyclingassociation.com/latest-news/ceo-simon-ellin-picks-out-worst-packaging-offenders-for-recyclability-for-the-bbc

https://www.nrdc.org