Labour Issues in the Fashion Industry

I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion this weekend at the Harvard Social Enterprise Conference. The panel was titled “Labor Pain in the Fashion Industry: The Human Cost of Shockingly Cheap Clothing” and it was a good opportunity to discuss what we are doing at Sports Philosophy and the Freedom for Children Foundation.

It’s rare to discuss labour issues in a more inspiring setting. Christina Bain moderated the session and is director of the Babson College’s Initiative on Human Trafficking and Modern Slavery. Sara Ziff is the founder of the Model Alliance having a huge impact on the model industry. Dan Viederman is someone whose work and organization Verité I always cover in my lectures.

After watching a short clip with JohLabour Issues in the Fashion Industryn Oliver at Last Week Tonight (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdLf4fihP78) discussions circled around problems of traceability in the supply chain. The audience seemed to understand the point quite well that we need to move from a zero-tolerance approach towards entrepreneurial and hybrid models in the future. The point being again that 168 million children are working out of economic necessities. Sending children to school is a luxury many families can’t afford.

We also took the panel to discuss some idea we will be developing over the coming months. We will keep you updated on our work.