With summer fast approaching, many of us are looking out for the perfect summer wardrobe, and head towards the nearest high street store to bag the latest bargains. From H&M to Primark, the allure of the cheap store is too much to resist, and many of us would admit that we buy too many clothes. Clothes are not only a fashion statement, but they can make us feel good, and express our style. Lots of us love a bit of retail therapy! So, there’s nothing bad about clothes, right?
Well there is a darker, unspoken side of fashion, which many of us are unaware of. Often little is known about the journey of cotton from field to fabric, and then into our favourite shops. In fact many of the suppliers and owners of high-street brands are in the dark as to how their products are produced. The reality is that many of the clothes which you buy are the product of a long line of exploitation and human trafficking.
It’s a little known fact that, 200,000 young women and girls being trafficked to work in the garment industry in the Tamil Nadu region of India. Many of these girls are aged 14-23, but instead of being able to enjoy the latest fashion trends like other girls their age, they are forced to work up to 12 hours a day, 6 days a week in cotton spinning, weaving and dying mills. They have limited freedom, and have to sleep in a hostel within the factory walls or are guarded by the male factory employees with only limited contact with their families or the outside world. Sexual and physical abuse from the male guards is common.
The girls working in these factories produce cotton to be sold to fashion companies all over the world. It is likely that most of your favourite shops and brands have this cotton in their products. Even the clothes you are wearing now may have this cotton in them.
Many of these girls are targeted by traffickers because they are young, unmarried and come from largely poor and marginalized communities. Their parents are persuaded to sign their daughters up for employment with the promise that they will be paid and taken care of along with the offer of a lump sum payment at the end of their 3-5 years of employment. The shocking reality is that, less than 35% of the workers are paid at the end of their employment.
This has to stop. You have the power to help make this happen!
STOP THE TRAFFIK is working to put an end to the trafficking of these innocent girls. As part of the Make Fashion #TraffikFree campaign, we have launched a fantastic new Clothes Swap pack. Hosting a Clothes Swap is an ideal action for you, if you love fashion, and have a passion for a traffik free world.
Here are 3 reasons why a Clothes Swap is a great idea!
1. A clothes swap provides a great opportunity to get your friends together and tell them about the Make Fashion Traffik-Free campaign
2. It’s fun way for people to come together and share a mutual love for fashion along with a passion for a Traffik-Free world!
3. It’s a simple and effective way to raise some money for STOP THE TRAFFIK!
So if you have had your eye on your best friends top, now’s the time to get it!
If you want to join our cotton campaign, but don’t have the time to host a clothes swap, that’s fine just follow one of our other actions-click here to find out more!
It’s true many of us love fashion, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But what is wrong is the exploitation of vulnerable women, together let’s make fashion #TraffikFree!