How to Care for Your Clothes from The Fableists

30degreelaundrysymbolThe more you wash cloth, the shorter the life cycle of the item will be. The United Nations Environment programme found that if you wear your jeans at least three times before washing them, wash in cold water and hang dry without ironing you consume five times less energy. We encourage you to wipe away dirt and grime as a first resort. If washing is necessary, The Fableists clothes are made to survive a 30° C wash but please wash on the coldest setting you feel comfortable with, with a minimal amount of detergent on as gentle a cycle as possible and hang dry to save the clothes, your electricity bill and the planet. We recommend eco-friendly detergents, which have minimal aquatic toxicity and will biodegrade quickly and completely.

If you are concerned about bacteria that might survive a cold water wash, try a naturally antibacterial essential oil such as tea tree oil, peppermint, oregano, lavender, lemon, thyme or eucalyptus. This will not kill 100% of bacteria but will be very effective and will also give your washing a lovely, fresh scent. Hydrogen peroxide is a naturally occurring chemical and it is very effective at killing bacteria. It is safe on skin but does have a bleaching effect and should be used carefully. A top all round disinfecting product is plain old white vinegar. It will remove bacteria and stains and it also removes the build-up of soap scum and softens the water, leaving your washing soft and fluffy. All anti-bacterial products should be used in moderation so that they will remain effective.

We understand that you might need to use your tumble dryer – but do so wisely. Try to shorten the time of your load. Taking clothes out slightly damp and folding them immediately will reduce the need to iron (always a bonus!). You can also hang your load and then put it through the dryer on a quick cycle to soften them. Avoid dryer sheets, which are full of chemicals and break down organic fibres, which will shorten the life span of your clothes.

And now for the best news: Limit your ironing. This will preserve your sanity but ironing also uses energy (not just yours!) and deteriorates fabric. Obviously, some of your clothes require ironing but make the time to take your line-dried clothes down while still slightly damp, fold them promptly along the creases and pile them up. The folding and the weight will remove wrinkles.

Messages Found Sewn in to Fast Fashion Retailer’s Clothes

Dhaka, Bangladesh - March 2010.Garment factory exterior in the Mohakhali area.The story about ‘cries for help’ sewn in to Primark clothes bought in Swansea has appeared in all the major newspapers in the UK, has been shared on social media and has elicited shocked and horrified responses.

Two messages have been reported, one saying, “Forced to work exhausting hours” the other with, “Degrading sweatshop conditions”. Whether these messages are authentic remains to be investigated but it is known that the conditions referred to in the messages exist in factories all over the world.

Will this be the wake up call that shoppers need in order to convince them to pay heed to the provenance of the clothes, food and goods they buy? Outlining the facts about how mass produced fashion is made in documentary after documentary seems to have fallen on deaf ears. Watching factory workers die as the unsafe buildings in which they work collapse around them also seems to have had little effect on the choices we’re making.

Can this direct message from an actual sweatshop worker be the key to forcing a sea change in the way we buy? I hope so.


Clean Clothes Campaign responds to stories of labels found in Primark clothing.

Over the past week there have been reports of notes for help or messages stitched into clothing sold by UK and Irish retailer Primark purportedly from workers suffering inhumane conditions in the production of clothes for the retail giant.

Clean Clothes Campaign, in response to the stories says, “It is difficult to know whether these notes are genuine. However speculation on the origin of the messages should not distract from the known reality which is that the conditions described – in particular long hours, poverty pay and unsafe working conditions – are a fact of life for the majority of women and men producing clothes for high street brands including Primark.

“As our recent reports, Tailored Wages and Stitched Up, clearly demonstrate inhumane conditions and wages that fall far short of a living wage are endemic in the industry and can be found from clothing factories in Bangladesh to Bulgaria, Cambodia to Croatia.

“Primark are not alone in sourcing from these factories and it is important that Primark and all clothing brands take action and put an end to exploitative and inhumane purchasing practices and ensure the people who make their clothes are paid a living wage in decent working conditions.

“To pay a decent living wage would cost a brand like Primark less than 25 cents on the price of a t-shirt. As these stories have shown, consumers do not want to buy cheap fashion at the expense of another persons well-being.”

April 22 2014: Make Your #EarthDay Pledge a #FashionPledge

Earth Day began in April 1970 and it is widely credited with kick-starting the modern environmental movement. It led to the passing and implementation of environmental laws. It also led to the creation of one of the most universal environmental icons, the recycling symbol, which is now a part of our daily life. The Earth Day Network (EDN) now works with over 22,000 organisations in over 190 countries to “broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement”. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, all over the world, making it the largest civic observance on the planet.

At The Fableists we aim to make our clothes without drawing on the Earth’s resources. The cotton we use is organically grown and relies on rainwater from India’s monsoon. The dyes we use are chemical free and also applied in a closed-loop system which purifies the water so that it can be recycled. It is not leached in to the local ecosystem. We use a number of factories that employ renewable energy sources such as wind farms and the burning of rice husks rather than fossil fuels. We are committed to achieving our eco credentials.

So, what will you do today to celebrate #EarthDay?

Earth Day Network is asking you to take a ‘Pledge of Green’, from eating less meat, to starting to compost, to reducing your energy consumption. They aim to reach 2 billion pledges (they are currently over 1 billion), so take a look at their campaigns.

This week also marks the one year anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh, where over 1,100 people were killed in the name of fast fashion. But there are thousands more victims of this terrible disaster where garment workers toiled in un-safe conditions and were unable to escape when fire raged through the building. The victims include the injured, disabled, widowed, orphaned and those left destitute. The Earth is also a victim of these sweatshops, which cut costs at every corner. These are the victims of the way that we all buy fashion.

On this Earth Day, TheFableists would like you to pledge to change to the way that you buy your clothes – from today forward. Find out where your clothes are made before you buy them. Make a commitment to buying clothes that are sweatshop-free and produced according to ethical and environmental standards. We don’t want to see rivers turned blue with toxic dyes or land filled with discarded articles of clothing. Teach your children that they need to consider where and how an item was made before they buy. Tell us about your pledge with the hashtag #FashionPledge.

Rana Plaza is just one of many such disasters to claim victims in the name of fashion. Let’s make sure that it is the last.

Please support our Kickstarter campaign for a new range of Kids eco and ethical clothing here.

Fableists: Show your Support for Positive Fashion – Fashion Revolution Day – #INSIDEOUT

whomadeyourclothes 1            whomadeyourclothes 4

On April 24th last year, 1133 people were killed when the Rana Plaza factory collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Many more were injured. Today, people are still suffering as a direct result of our fashion supply chain. Fashion Revolution Day says enough is enough.

This year, to mark the one year anniversary of the factory collapse, people from across the globe – from designers and icons, to high street shops and high couture, from cotton farmers and factory workers, to campaigners, academics, the media and any individual who cares about what they wear – will come together to ask one simple question: “Who Made Your Clothes?”

whomadeyourclothes 3            whomadeyourclothes 2

Everyone can be part of Fashion Revolution Day by wearing an item of clothing inside out, photographing it and then sharing it with the hashtag #insideout. To all of The Fableists, wear your clothes from The Fableists and add the hashtag #TheFableists to your post. That way, our tribe can show their support for better connections and transparency across the fashion supply chain.

Visit the Fashion Revolution Day website to find full details and how you can get involved.

Interested in being a country co-ordinator? Find full details here.

Don’t forget to follow Fashion Revolution Day on Twitter and Facebook.

via Ethical Fashion Source Network

Tailored Wages – New Report Investigates Clothing Brands’ Work on Living Wages

tailored wagesSurvey of 50 leading clothing brands show they must do much more to ensure garment workers receive a wage they can live on.

This week, Clean Clothes Campaign launched ‘Tailored Wages’, an in-depth study of what the leading 50 clothing brands across Europe are doing to ensure that the workers who produce the clothes they sell are paid a living wage. Download the full report here.

Based on a multi-brand survey, “Tailored Wages” found that whilst half of those surveyed included wording in their codes of conduct saying that wages should be enough to meet workers’ basic needs; only four brands – Inditex, Marks & Spencers, Switcher and Tchibo – were able to show any clear steps towards implementing this – and even they have a long way to go before a living wage becomes a reality for the garment workers that produce for them.

More action and less talk

“Although a living wage is a human right, shockingly none of Europe’s leading 50 companies is yet paying a living wage,” said Anna McMullen, the lead author on the report. “The research showed that while more brands are aware of the living wage and recognise that it is something to be included in their codes of conduct and in CSR brochures, for most of the brands surveyed this was as far as they went. With millions of women and men worldwide dependent on the garment industry it is vital that these words are turned into definitive actions sooner rather than later.”

Images from Clean Clothes Tailored Wages Report

Images from Clean Clothes Tailored Wages Report

The survey did find some interesting work being carried out by some brands to increase the amount paid to workers. Swiss company Switcher has set up a fund to pay an additional 1% on top of the price paid to the factory, which will go directly to the workers. Whilst other companies such as Spanish retail giant Inditex is looking at ensuring better conditions by forming agreements with global union IndustriALL. However as Ms. McMullen adds “whilst this is all innovative work it remains in the pilot stage and workers can wait no longer.”

Struggle for living wages reaching critical point

In key garment producing countries such as Cambodia the struggle for a living wage continues, as latest figures from the Asia Floor Wage Alliance show that living wage levels are, on average, three times the minimum wage a garment worker receives.

Cambodian workers, currently receive just USD 100 a month, just 25% of the Asia Floor Wage calculation for Cambodia. In recent months garment workers have been met with increasing violence and unrest as they demand a raise in the minimum wage to USD 160 – still just a fraction of a wage they could live on.

“My expenses are increasing every day,” says Lili, a factory worker from Cambodia. “Even if we [the workers] eat all together in a small room and I collect the money from all others, we still can only spend a very small amount each because everybody always thinks ‘how are we going to be able to send money home to our families?’”

The Clean Clothes Campaign carried out the research to monitor how far policies are being turned into practice by major clothing brands. The role of companies in ensuring a living wage is paid is vital as they have the ability to change prices and purchasing practices that would ensure wages allowed garment workers to live with dignity.

Tailored Wages is part of a global campaign run by Clean Clothes Campaign and partners the Asia Floor Wage Alliance calling on all brands and governments to take action in order to ensure a living wage is paid.

cost of a tshirt

Survivors of the Rana Plaza Building Collapse to Start Claiming Compensation

ViaBasis CMYKFrom yesterday – March 24th – one month before the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh, the families of the 1138 workers killed in the disaster and over a thousand workers left with life changing injuries can start registering claims for compensation to cover the financial losses and medical costs they suffered as a result. As the claims begin campaigners are strengthening their call for brands buying from factories located in the devastated building, including Matalan, Benetton and Walmart, to pay millions of dollars in compensation into the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, set up to finance these payments.

The Trust Fund, which has been set up by the International Labour Organisation has been open for contributions since February. The Fund needs to reach a final target of $40million in order to pay out full compensation to all workers and their families. The experts involved in designing the process estimated that 25% of the final target would be needed to make the first round of payments to all workers. The coordination committee now believe that sufficient funds are available and agreed to launch the claims process on March 24th, one month before the first anniversary.

The claims will be calculated and delivered in line with international standards under a system known as the Arrangement. The process will be overseen by a multi-stakeholder coordination committee comprising of international and Bangladeshi representatives from government, industry and the trade unions. The timing of the claims launch will ensure that all victims and their family should receive an initial payment by the first anniversary of the disaster on April 24th. All beneficiaries will be invited to submit a claim, with the aim to process all payments within six months, which will paid out over up to four instalments. Every family will receive a minimum payment of 50,000 BDT by 24th April (around $2 million in total) as an advance payment towards their claim. Those workers whose claims can be fully processed by April 24th will also receive their first full instalment, which will represent 20% of their total claim.

The only barrier now in getting compensation to the victims of the garment industry’s worst ever disaster is the refusal of many brands, including Italian fashion brand Benetton, UK high street brand Matalan and retail giant Walmart to make significant contributions to the Fund.

Ten brands have already confirmed donations into the Fund, including Mango, Inditex and C&A. This week an agreement was reached between the Coordination Committee of the Arrangement, the multi-stakeholder body overseeing the compensation process, and Primark, which initially set up its own process for delivering payments to 500 workers employed at New Wave Bottoms, the factory supplying the Anglo Irish retailer. Under the agreement workers employed at New Wave Bottoms will now be brought under the Arrangement process and their claims will be assessed using the same criteria and methodology as all other affected workers. Payments to NWB workers will be made directly by Primark, but the timescale will be coordinated to ensure all families are treated fairly and equitably. Primark have made an initial contribution of $1 million to the Trust Fund; once their direct payments have been calculated it is expected their final contribution will be around $9 million.

However, the final $40 million target remains a long way off and more contributions are urgently needed if the Fund is to cover all the claims. Labour rights campaigners from the Clean Clothes Campaign across Europe, the International Labor Rights Forum in the United States, and the Maquila Solidarity Network in Canada are calling on other multi-million brands, including Benetton, Walmart and Matalan to stop dragging their feet.

Emma Harbour of the Clean Clothes Campaign states: “These brands already failed these workers once by failing to ensure the factories they were using met national and international standards for safety. Almost a year later and they are failing them again – refusing to contribute what is needed to help these families to start rebuilding their lives”.

She adds: “For the first time ever we have a system in place for making sure payments get directly to those families that deserve them. Benetton has no excuse for not paying in and can easily afford a USD 5 million contribution to the fund. Any less would be an insult to all those who were killed and injured.’

There is no time to wait – we have one month to find $40 million. We urge Benetton to make this contribution immediately and to confirm publicly that it has done so.”

To find out more about the PayUp Campaign see

Take Part in the Six Items Challenge from Labour Behind the Label

Six items challenge

Detox Your Wardrobe with A Fashion Fast to Oppose Fast Fashion

The Six Items Challenge is a campaign by Labour Behind the Label that challenges participants to choose just six articles of clothing and wear these only for six weeks. The Fableists are taking part, so please join us!

The official challenge runs from 5 March to 17 April 2014 but Labour Behind the Label encourages participation at any time of year.

There are a few exceptions that are permitted. Your ‘6 items’ do not include any underwear, socks, shoes, accessories, performance or work-out clothes (cycling gear etc.), work uniforms (including suit, shirt, tie, or whatever is required by your employer), or pyjamas. If the season and climate require it, you can also pick one coat as an extra item. Work uniforms may also include a suit/white shirt etc., if this is required by your employer.

You can have fun with it and are encouraged to accessorise and mix and match as much as possible. The goal is to raise awareness of the dangers of fast fashion and shift the way that you think about your wardrobe and buying clothes.

What is ‘fast fashion’?

According to Labour Behind the Label:
Fast Fashion is a relatively new phenomenon where brands change their stock every 4 to 6 weeks to keep up with the very latest fashion trends, at a price which makes the clothes cheap and disposable.

Fast Fashion is the drive to increase profits and get products into our high street shops faster and faster, to satisfy an insatiable desire for new trends; the drive to sell more, consume more, make more, waste more. This drive has disastrous consequences for the people who make our clothes.

The Six Items Challenge is designed to challenge our increasing reliance on Fast Fashion.

Further to our Facebook posts from yesterday, Matt Cooper from The Fableists is leading the way and taking part as our team representative! As we’re starting almost a week late, Matt has pledged to take his challenge up until April 24th, the one year anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh.

We will post the 6 items that Matt has chosen on our blog over the coming days, as well as updates on how it’s going. How can you get involved?

  • Sign up to participate in the challenge yourself at this link. Do not be afraid of failure. The end goal of this campaign is to raise awareness of issues that face garment workers as well as funds. It is also to change your reliance on fast fashion, so any shift in mentality where this is concerned is a win.
  • Sponsor Matt in his efforts by visiting our fundraising page here. Every little helps, so please dig deep!
  • Share our posts on FB, WordPress, twitter and Pinterest about the challenge to help spread the word about this great campaign.
  • Visit Labour Behind the Label to find out more.

Where do the Funds Raised Go?

They go towards fighting for garment workers’ rights. The following is from Labour Behind the Label:
Garment workers don’t have the unlimited choices we have. £3, not much is it? The price of a sandwich, a copy of a fashion magazine or a cheap t-shirt in some of the UK’s leading high street stores. But this amount is double what many workers can earn in a day making clothes for the UK market.

The reality is that UK brands want more and more from their suppliers while giving less and less. Long hours, daily overtime, poverty wages and unstable job contracts all hamper basic needs such as buying food, healthcare, education and accommodation.

This is the norm for garment workers across the globe.

At Labour Behind the Label we don’t advocate boycotting brands as this often has a negative impact on workers, but we want consumption needs to slow down, the pressure on workers and the constant precariousness of jobs and wage levels needs to be addressed.

By exploring this issue through the Six Items Challenge and fundraising for Labour Behind the Label, you can play a vital part in contributing to the work we do in supporting real people in their struggle for better rights and working conditions.

Here is an idea of what your sponsorship can do:

£5 can help distribute materials to local groups for awareness raising meetings and events.
£10 can go towards conducting vital research into working conditions in factories around the world.
£20 can help respond to Urgent Appeals for intervention on behalf of workers in need.
£200 can cover the cost of meeting and lobbying companies and government bodies to legislate for better protection for supply chain workers.
£300 can print education resources to ensure schools and universities have access to global workers’ rights issues.
£500 can bring a garment worker to the UK to speak about their experiences and help lobby for change.

Get in involved and get in touch to tell us about what you are doing.

The Fableists

The Story of our Denim

Classic Straight Cut Denim Jeans

Classic Straight Cut Denim Jeans

There isn’t an exact equation that generically calculates the sustainability of an item. A rough definition says that a sustainable business operates on a triple bottom line, with profit, ethics and environmental considerations all sharing equal importance.

At The Fableists, we also think that how an item will be used and discarded are a really important factor in its sustainability. That’s why we aim to make most of our clothes so that they can be worn by both boys and girls, year round, and they won’t go out of style. They are made to be worn a lot and to be passed on. When there is no life left in them, we will take them back and make something new out of them.

Buying denim that is made as sustainably as possible is a great place to start when thinking about sustainable fashion. First of all, pretty much everyone wears denim. Jeans are so versatile and so well-loved. But mass produced jeans have a sizeable environmental footprint. It has been calculated that the amount of water used to make just one pair of basic jeans is 42 litres. Some experts calculate the amount to be much higher and Levi Strauss & Co.’s research shows that the average pair of jeans will consume about 4,000 litres of water in its lifetime. This numbers covers the cotton growing all the way through the washing.

Missy wears Classic Jeans and the Western Shirt

Missy wears Classic Jeans and the Western Shirt

It’s no secret that cotton requires huge amounts of water to grow. That is why we choose to get our cotton from farmers who work in monsoon-fed regions of India, where tonnes of rainwater is harvested to water the crops.

Another factor that makes jeans not quite so cool, is the huge amounts of toxic chemicals used to grow non-organic cotton but also to dye the fabric. Once the denim has been dyed, a lot of fast fashion brands then subject it to a series of toxic chemical baths in order to achieve the desired finish or rinse on the jeans. Chemicals used to produce artificial finish on denim include chemicals such as cadmium, lead, copper and mercury. To achieve a worn look, sandblasting is often use, which can cause tuberculosis or silicosis in workers. ‘Stone washed’ jeans are weathered using volcanic pumice stones, which break down and the pumice dust can enter the local water supply.

At The Fableists, our jeans are thick so that they’ll last and don’t need repeated washings. They are dark because they haven’t been treated by toxic chemicals. They have neat stitching and no fake wear marks. We’re sure your kids will be terrific at putting those wear marks in themselves.

Apache is wearing the Classic Jeans with Baseball Shirt and Veja shoes

Apache is wearing the Classic Jeans with Baseball Shirt and Veja shoes

The Fableists’ denim is made just for us. The cotton is certified organic by GOTS, so it is not grown with loads of poisonous insecticides. We work with a collective of small holding or marginal farmers who, by working together, have been able to negotiate fair prices for their crops, making farming sustainable in their region. The collective have also educated the individual farmers on water wastage, storage and efficient organic farming methods. The factories we use also employ a closed loop system for their dying so that dye won’t seep in to the surrounding ecosystem. Our factories use a reverse osmosis system to purify the water so that it can be re-used. The majority of the process water is recycled. Our dye house also uses rice husk, a waste product from the processing of rice, to generate steam. They do not burn fossil fuels.

The Fableists recommends reducing the amount you wash your denim items. This can be tricky with kids but stains and marks can often be spot cleaned with a cloth and some soapy water. If odours develop, try putting jeans in the freezer, which kills the bacteria that cause the odour, or hang them in the bathroom while you have a shower. The steam will take out wrinkles and odours.

Obviously, kids can be tough on their clothes and when they’ve been crawling through mud and grime, there is nothing to be done but put them in the washer. When the clothes have reached their limits, then be sure to wash in cold water and hang dry.

If a hole develops in the jeans, they can be patched, or cut down in to shorts. Don’t just throw them away! Send them back to us and we’ll give you a discount off your next purchase.

We know you’ll love our jeans. They are cut extra-long to leave room for your little punk to grow in to them. They look just as great with a big turn up! They look cool on girls and boys and are adorable on the littler ones. They also feature an elasticated inner belt on the waist to cinch up and let out as required.LR0036_SR_Fableist_SEPT2013_0813_TheFableists_0280

Nominate The Fableists for the Observer Ethical Award

Guardian-Ethical-Awards-Fly-Static-620x94_v2This year marks the ninth anniversary of The Observer Ethical Awards, in association with Ecover. The closing date for nominations is 21 March 2014. Once the deadline has been reached, the nominees will be voted on by the public. The winners will be announced in June.

Please nominate The Fableists!

You will have to sign in to The Guardian in order to nominate us, but this only takes a second. Then you might have to click the links for each category again.

The Fableists could be considered for two categories, so please nominate us twice:

1 – You can nominate The Fableists in the Ethical Retailer category. They are looking for companies who champion an ethical supply chain from any type of business. This nomination just takes seconds to fill in with The Fableists or and for branch/city you can enter London.

2 – There is also a sustainable fashion category, Sponsored by Econyl and Eco Age, which is looking for the Ultimate Piece of Sustainable Fashion. To nominate The Fableists in this category as well, please go to this link (click the blue letters!). 

You can enter anything you like in to the spaces provided in the nomination form and can nominate any items from our collection. We are highlighting our unisex classic denim jeans because all boys and girls wear them and jeans are the most loved item of clothing in all closets – or you can copy and paste the text below for each section of the nomination form:

In Brief (you can copy and paste from below)
Something that comes by the ‘piece’ doesn’t sound very sustainable. To The Fableists, sustainable fashion means more than just an art installation. It means clothes that are made ethically, with every consideration for the Earth. It means clothes that will be worn a lot, cared for, passed on to someone else and made in to something new when it can no longer go on. Extra sustainability points for the fact that The Fableists clothes are made for kids, who can learn about where, how and by whom their clothes were made and in doing so become better future consumers. Now, that’s sustainable fashion.

Every child wears jeans and these are made for both boys and girls and built to be passed on, and on, and on. When you’re done with them, or when they are coming to the end of their lives, The Fableists will take them back and pass them on for you, or make something else out of them.

The Fableists’ denim is made to order. The cotton is grown in a part of India that is fed by monsoon rains. The cotton is certified organic by GOTS, so it is not grown with loads of poisonous insecticides by a collective of small holding or marginal farmers who, by working together, have been able to negotiate fair prices for their crops, making farming sustainable in their region. The cotton is woven, dyed and assembled into classic cut dark denim jeans for boys and girls aged 4-10 nearby.

Ethical Approach (you can copy and paste from below)
These jeans have been certified by GOTS as an organic product. GOTS carries with it a social and ethical component as well. The garment factory has been inspected by The Fableists but it is also certified FLOCERT (FLO ID 4512), and Fair Trade-USA. The stitching factories are SA8000 certified. The workers in the factories are paid a living wage and receive many allowances and premiums such as House Rent, yearly bonus, transportation, medical insurance benefits for themselves and their families and more.

The Fableists ensure that the ecosystem around where the clothes are made is not left poisoned with toxins, which could affect the health of the communities around the factories. The worst pollution generally comes from the dying of the materials. The dye houses used run on rice husk, which is a waste product from the processing of rice for generating steam. They do not burn fossil fuel and thus are able to earn carbon credits. They also recycle and reuse the majority of their process water and have reverse osmosis plants to purify the water which can then be reused.

You’ll need an image and a link, which are below. You’ll have to right click the image below and ‘save as’ to your desktop to then upload to the nomination form.

The Fableists Denim Jeans

We’d be very grateful if you nominated us! And please feel free to shout about it over all the social media outlets in all the lands using @ObserverEthical and #EthicalAwards.

The Fableists

Time for clothing brands to pay up!

pay up biggerFor Rana Plaza survivors, compensation is long overdue.

Today, Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) alongside workers and trade unions in Bangladesh and around the world launch a major campaign calling on all clothing brands who source from Bangladesh to immediately pay into the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, which is collecting voluntary donations on behalf of the Rana Plaza Arrangement, and is overseen by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The Pay Up! campaign comes just two months before the first anniversary of the catastrophic collapse of Rana Plaza, which killed 1,138 people and injured over 2,000 more. The campaign aims to ensure that come April 24th the survivors and victims families are not still waiting for compensation.

CCC is calling on major international brands Benetton, KiK and Children’s Place, in particular, who all had orders at one of the five factories in Rana Plaza at the time of the collapse or in the recent past, to make significant contributions in order to ensure payments can begin.

US$40 million is required to ensure all those injured and the families of those killed are fairly compensated for loss of income and medical expenses. The fund is open to all companies, donors and individuals who wish to express their solidarity and compassion.

To date clothing brands El Corte Ingles, Mascot, Mango, Inditex and Loblaw have all publicly committed to the Donor Trust Fund.

“Numerous reports over the past ten months have highlighted the ongoing plight of the victims of Rana Plaza and their families. We therefore welcome these initial contributions.” says Ineke Zeldenrust of the Clean Clothes Campaign. “Compensation efforts to date have been completely haphazard, unequal, unpredictable and non-transparent, and have left large groups of victims with nothing. The Arrangement has set up the entire operational structure, which will put an end to this unpredictability quickly and completely. All that is needed is for companies to pay up. The collapse of Rana Plaza is symptomatic of an industry wide problem, and we encourage the entire industry to make generous contributions.” adds Zeldenrust.

Nearly all the victims of the Rana Plaza collapse were garment workers who had been ordered back into the unsafe building by factory bosses.

Shila Begum a sewing operator in one of the factories who was trapped when the building collapsed described the decision to go in. “No one wanted to enter the building that day … [but] I still went back in. If enough people hit you, you do what they say. You could see the tension in people’s eyes.” Shortly after arriving at her machine the electricity went off and the generator switched on “The floor gave way… my hand got stuck and I thought I would die.”

After being trapped for most of the day under the building Shila was eventually rescued, but her crush injuries were such that she had to have a hysterectomy, and her arm is in constant pain and she is unable to work. The trauma of the day remains with her. “I don’t know if I will ever be able to step into a factory again.”

In Dhaka, garment workers and their unions will be creating a human chain, and holding a press conference demanding the early settlement of the compensation claims. Hameeda Hossein of SNF (the Bangladesh Worker’s Safety Forum) says “After the Rana building collapsed the whole world watched for weeks while the injured and dead were pulled out of the ruins. Now is the time for all of us to act and ensure US$40 million is donated before April 24th”.

The Rana Plaza Arrangement is a groundbreaking collaborative framework to ensure that the losses of the survivors and victims can be paid.

The operational structure has been developed by the former Executive Head of the United Nations Compensation Commission, working with the Bangladesh Ministry of Labour and ILO experts. Some of the most credible labour- and civil society organisations will be involved in the claims processing and post-award services and counselling. Medical assessments will be undertaken by qualified local doctors at the Centre for Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP). A team of independent local and international claims commissioners has been identified to determine the awards. The German development agency GIZ has agreed to undertake the administrative costs of the operation.

Roy Ramesh Chandra, President of the United Federation of Garment Workers & Secretary General of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC) said ”This is an unprecedented step and allows, brands, the government, the employers organisations and unions to work together to ensure a just outcome for the victims of Rana Plaza.”

Ten months after the worse industrial disaster to hit the garment industry, there can be no further excuses. Brands can show that they can be part of the solution if they pay up now!

You can read more about this campaign here.

Raising for Rana, which is being put on in association with charities Traid and War on Want, will take place on April 24th, the anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse. As part of the fundraiser, Raising for Rana are holding a charity auction, which will include some of The Fableists clothing. Please find out more here. 

raisingforrana banner