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KIWI magazine

The Real Price of Clothing

Have you read about the recent tragedies at three factories in Bangladesh and Cambodia? To date, over 1,000 people have been killed—the largest of which took place when a clothing factory collapsed in Bangladesh on April 24.

Just as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire brought consumers to their feet in the U.S. during the early 1900’s, (where 145 workers died in New York City), this tragedy has done the same—calling direct attention to the inhumane working conditions that exist overseas.

A recent New York Times piece highlighted how eco-conscious consumers (like you!) are demanding that companies be more stringent with production regulations and share information about where their products come from. Shoppers are recognizing that they can make a change with every purchase they make—and they want to make as educated a choice as possible.

One way to do that: Look for the Fair Trade USA seal on products you’re buying.  Known for helping consumers identify products that are both socially and environmentally sustainable, the organization has recently expanded to partner with clothing lines. Currently, three partners are listed on its website. The agreements with the companies directly benefit the farmers who grow the cotton for fabrics, as well as the workers who create and sew the finished product.

Want to learn more about where your clothing comes from? Check out writers like Elizabeth Cline, author of Over Dressed, and Kelsey Timmerman, author of Where Am I Wearing. These writers discuss overseas manufacturing, big business, and exactly what goes on in the clothing industry.

Will you look for Fair Trade clothing in your area? What do you do to make sure your family is making world-friendly purchasing decisions? Sound off in the comments below, or tweet your thoughts to @KiwiMagazine!


Caring ...for people and the planet

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