“The Mad Rush” sweatshop

Ethical Fashion, we need a eye opener

On May 10, 2016 a new concept store opened it’s doors on the popular shopping street de Kalverstraat, in Amsterdam known as the Mad Rush. A cute window display featuring cacti alongside of trendy and fashionable items from high street retailers underneath a discount sign ensures that the Mad Rush is certainly appealing to consumers.

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However, The Mad Rush is hardly your common idea retailer. What sets this fashion concept store apart from the rest is what is waiting for consumers behind the erected walls: a sweatshop. By bringing a sweatshop to the main street and inserting customers head to head with the reality of their fashion purchases, the Clear Clothes Marketing campaign (Schone Kleren Campagne) and worldwide girls’s fund Mama Money goal to lift consciousness for the plight of the business’s garment employees. Though situations in some areas of the world are bettering, the very fact stays that hundreds of thousands of garment employees – mainly feminine – are compelled to work lengthy hours in unsafe situations, with little to no regard for his or her well being and low-wages as a way to produce mass-market style gadgets for the excessive streets. The Clear Clothes Marketing campaign and Mama Rush search to vary this with the assistance of unsuspecting customers who go to the idea retailer. 

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As soon as the customer has chosen an merchandise they want to attempt on (items which may be present in adjoining shops) an attendee escorts them by means of to the fitting room. Nevertheless, behind the door lies a sweatshop, full of ‘employees’ working behind stitching machines in a overheated and overcrowded room with no home windows. The claustrophobic room affords customers a small style of what an precise sweatshop 1000’s of miles away in Bangladesh or India looks like and is assured to depart buyers feeling very unsettled. “Style is transferring at an more and more quicker tempo, which is resulting in rising manufacturing charges. We needed to confront Dutch shoppers with the results of this,” defined Tara Scully, marketing campaign coordinator on the Clear Clothes Marketing campaign to Fashion United.

After consumers walk through the sweatshop, which is filled with the rattling of sewing machines, they step into an open space dedicated to sharing knowledge on what they can do to make a difference. For this campaign Mama Cash and the Clean Clothing Campaign have joined forces and created the slogan ‘WomenPowerFashion’ to generate attention for the worldwide plight of garment workers. In order to give the campaign a human face, three garment workers have been selected by the NGOs to share their stories of how they fought to obtain the rights they deserve within the industry’s supply chain. Each women represents themselves, a trade union they founded and their demands for a safer workplace and their stories are shared in the exhibition space behind the sweatshop through images and film. “We wanted people to learn more about the ‘WomenPowerFashion’ and what they can do to make a difference,” said Barbara Lotti, programme officer at Mama Cash. “We want to show that people can bring on change and make a change.”

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The organisations have ensured that along with the volunteers working within the sweatshop, a consultant from Mama Money and the Clear Clothes Marketing campaign shall be readily available to information consumers via the expertise. “We’ve got a wall of ideas that includes what shoppers can do to make a distinction,” continued Scully. “Probably the most vital issues they will do is ask style retailers questions on how their clothes was made and present that working situations are essential to them.” Along with questioning the origins of their clothes, customers are additionally inspired to consider how they deal with their clothes and proven how they will use it in a extra sustainable manner. Starter packages to provoke residence clothes swapping events are current for instance, in addition to suggestions as to what to do with undesirable clothes.

Buyers who go to the shop/sweatshop wouldn’t have to concern leaving emptied-handed, for subsequent to suggestions and steerage on the best way to assist the marketing campaign to make an actual distinction, the volunteers within the sweatshop will probably be busy making canvas luggage on the market. “The luggage might be revamped the week whereas the shop is open after which customers can resolve for themselves how a lot they wish to pay for them,” mentioned Scully. “All proceeds from the bag gross sales will go to WomenPowerFashion marketing campaign,” added Lotti. A small signal behind the shop signifies that the supplies to make the bag price 2,50 euros, while regular labour wages for garment staff making the bag is 0.20 cents per hour – one other surprising reminder of why eye opening ideas just like the Mad Rush are wanted.

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So why don’t we have more of these shops to open the eyes of more people around the world? I honestly believe if we had more of these shops it would open alot more peoples eyes as to whats really going on in these sweatshops. Everyone’s seen photo’s and heard what happens in sweatshops, but I don’t believe people really know what is going on or they choose to ignore what’s going on while buying all there brand named clothing, after all if they don’t see it first hand they can ignore it. Our society today can turn a blind eye to what’s going on in Bangledesh and India and other such places because it’s easy enough to ignore something that doesn’t affect your life in the now, but when it’s put in front of you, it makes you think, it opens your eyes to what’s really going on. 

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