In the 1980’s, the US produced 70% of its own clothing. Now, we produce less than 3% because we’ve outsourced all our clothing production due to cheap importing laws. As soon as big box retailers realized it was cheaper to manufacture in China, Bangladesh, etc., they closed up shop and moved to a different continent, leaving thousands of Americans without jobs. There are communities in North Carolina that essentially became ghost towns once manufacturing was moved overseas.
There has been a slight resurgence of American manufacturing, but it may not be enough because of the lack in demand. Most companies would rather manufacture elsewhere because their profit margins are a lot higher. Companies can afford to sell clothing at extremely low prices because they pay their factory employees next to nothing.
The costs of fabric have remained the same, but labor wages have significantly decreased. Most factory workers in the developing world, risk their lives by working. They are either paid so little they starve or are exposed to inhumane working conditions that lead to their deaths. And all of that for cheap clothes?
April 24th marks the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy. Over a thousand people lost their lives by working at a garment factory and, unfortunately, this isn’t the first or will be the last.
Fashion revolution week, April 18-24th, was created to bring awareness to the hands that made your clothes. Next time you are getting ready in the morning, take a look at the label to see where it was made. Snap a picture and post it on social media with the question, “Who made my clothes?” Click here to see my post from last year’s Fashion Revolution Day.
Next year, I hope you can wear one of Sotela’s dresses on Fashion Revolution day and feel proud you know who made your clothes. Sotela chooses to be American made even though our profit margins are smaller. We would rather create quality pieces at a slower pace instead of churning out new designs every week that are made so quickly they fall apart within several wears. We are American made because we are proud to be a company that is good for people and the planet.
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Click on any of the blog’s below to see what conscious bloggers are doing for Fashion Revolution Week!
“Join the Fashion Revolution” – Sustaining Life
“Indelust Founder Sana Rezwan on Fashion Revolution Day” – The Peahen
“How to Be a Part of the Fashion Revolution” – Green or Die
“We Choose to Be American Made” – Sotela
“My Story With Clothes – A Fashion Revolution Haulternative” – Eleanor Snare
“5 Simple Ways to Kick the Fast Fashion Habit” – Let’s Be Fair
“Fashion Revolution Week 2016” – Walking With Cake
“Fashion Revolution Week: Haulternative by These Native Goods” – These Native Goods