For years we have been hearing about how much of the clothing that we wear in the Western World is produced in sweat shops around the world in poor countries, where primarily women and children work for next to nothing in horrible conditions. For many people this issue has become a preoccupation in their lives. They have set about striving to shut down sweatshops and create fair working conditions for these workers, and to rally for children’s rights in order to make sure children are not used for such purposes.
The individual who is concerned with the how their T-shirts and other clothing are made can find out more information by doing some research. It is easy enough to decide how to shop ethically if you know that basically all clothing that comes from certain countries is made in sweatshops. By boycotting clothing made under unethical conditions you are refusing to support the owners of such factories in their continued abuse of the available labor in their area.
There are also a variety of companies that specialize in sweatshop free apparel and can be found be doing a simple Internet search. There are also specific brands that have been created which focus on fair trade or things that have been made with a living wage. Many organic lines are made under fair trade conditions.
Another way to ensure that the T-shirts and clothing you buy are made in an environment that treats their employees ethically is by buying only American and Canadian products. The clothing industry in these two countries are free of sweatshop conditions and prove to be good ethical choices for the things you wear. Therefore you can rest assured that you are shopping ethically when you see Made in the USA or Made in Canada.
If you are looking to build a brand new wardrobe of T-shirts that are all made in places that pay their employees a living wage and do not use child labor, a great place to start is with custom-made T-shirts. It is particularly easy to find organic cotton tees to have printed that are made under ethical conditions. When you have selected the tee you want in the style and color you desire you can have it customized to your taste. The choices of things to put on a T-shirt are endless.
You can educate others about shopping ethically by putting a one-liner on your T-shirt like one of the ones below.
• Where was your shirt made?
• Fair trade only
• Kids need fair trade
• A living wage is a family value
• Did a child make your shirt?
You can also put a symbol, a photo or a drawing on a T-shirt that speaks about fair trade. You can even put a paragraph of information if you want. It is the perfect way to spread awareness of the need for more people to buy with a social conscious.
“Therefore you can rest assured that you are shopping ethically when you see Made in the USA or Made in Canada.”
Unfortunately, this is not true! As someone who has worked within the anti-sweatshop movement for several years, I can you that there have been severe examples of the worst kind of exploitation inside the United States and in U.S. territories.
While it is sometimes that case that U.S. factories treat workers fairly, it is certainly not a given. There is not enough funding to enforce labor conditions, and the legal status of garment workers makes it very difficult for them to stand up for their rights when exploited.
Just wanted to bring this important point to your attention.
Please visit my company’s website to learn how your organization can purchased UNION MADE in USA t-shirts and other products. Union representation is one of the best ways to ensure that basic human rights are being protected.