The significant impact of fast fashion has multiple facets and, unfortunately, child labour is one of them. According to the organization, Stop Child Labour, “fast fashion has resulted in high demand for children who are willing to work for very low pay and in dangerous conditions.” In fact, their working conditions has been compared to modern day slavery.
Several well-established brands, including Adidas, H&M, and Nike, have had manufacturers in their supply chains who have subsequently used child workers, and subjected them to unsafe working conditions.
The push toward strong corporate ethics, and safe employment practices has, of course, caused major companies to reconsider their operations. However, has this been enough? Are we seeing the expected “big change” as anticipated? The jury is still out on this.
For example, while we understand that supply chains are complex and multi-dimensional, it is unfair to use this as an excuse. Helena Helmersson, H&M’s Head of Sustainability, has stated that supply chains are so complex that “it is impossible to be in full control“.
We are not convinced, however. Take the founder of The Body Shop, Anita Roddick, for instance. At a time during which testing on animals was a norm, and sometimes even required, Roddick found a way around this cruel practice. So, we are firm believers that nothing is truly impossible.
Let’s do better. Our children should not suffer simply because we want to wear the latest trend at an affordable price.
Information and quotes accredited to Phys.org.