My first article featuring the voices of young women was so popular I have decided to make it a regular feature. If you are interested in contributing, please comment below.
Women are the backbone of the garment industry and constitute the vast majority of garment workers. Yet women’s voices, especially those of young women, are often not heard. I wanted to change this and give them an opportunity to speak on this topic. I asked 4 women of different ages and backgrounds the following question:
“Do you feel like you, as a consumer, have any power over how your clothes are made?”
Below are their responses:
“No I don’t feel like I have any power about how my clothes are made. It seems like such a huge decision that it would be difficult to have a say any of it. I don’t really know how to respond because it just seems that the huge companies have the say.”
– Rogan, Age 14, Grade 9 student
I do not feel like I have any power in changing in changing the garment industry. I can buy ethically produced clothes but the majority of clothes will still be made by people working in terrible working conditions. In order to make a large change, many people need to start buying ethically produced clothing and show a large scale concern that tells companies they will not stand for the way their factories disrespect people and the environment. As many people are unable to afford ethically produced clothing, this admirable change seems unlikely.”
– Kenora, Age 20, 3rd year university student
“I do believe we can make the difference. It’ll be slow but it’s worth it. I would say we have more power than we think we do.”
– Lyanne, 21, Trusted clothes employee
If I’m completely transparent, I’ve never been the one to think about how clothes were made prior to purchasing them. Born in New York and raised in cities in central Jersey, Atlanta, and Miami – we’re taught to look at the name of the brand and not so much the background of it.
Naturally, I would assume that boycotting certain brands would give us power over how clothes are made. Telling friends, protesting, raising awareness – these are all great ideas and effective methods. But these are only starting points.
If we’re able to relay these messages to top influencers, it will change the game forever. If Hollywood’s most prestigious names truly grasped the maltreatment caused behind the clothes they promote, they would put a pause to it all. And because of their impact on today’s society, a crowd would follow closely behind.
Yes, I do believe we have the power over how our clothes are made. It’s just time to put in work.”
– Graciela, Age 26, Blogger at LaBeautifulCaos.com
As someone who truly believes that we can make a difference in the garment industry, these responses gave me pause. I was saddened by how most people didn’t believe we could make a difference. I hope that, as time goes on, this mentality will change and that everybody will know that we can make a difference.
If you are a young woman who feels underrepresented and would like to share your views, you can comment below or contact me directly and I can incorporate you in the next interview!