Vêtement éthique vêtement écologique

Working conditions in the clothing industry

working conditions clothing industry children

Here's why Eco Loco does the research for you and why our Clothing for Her section only contains ecological AND ethical clothing!

We know you've heard about it before! We know that most of us are familiar with the general outlines of the working conditions of workers in the textile industry in several countries. We are a little dismayed that the general population continues to support certain already well-known companies. For this reason, we are looking at the issue again and we are giving you the broad outlines of what this implies in terms of working conditions which are so closely linked to quality of life.

What if we talked about Canadian working conditions?

made in Canada

Of course, Canada will never be perfect in everyone's eyes. It is a country which has a number of significant challenges but which also has certain undeniable advantages. We live in a so-called industrialized country where the quality of life is high. This is not true for everyone but it is generally true. In this quality of life, one of the assets lies in the legislation on working conditions and in environmental laws . Here, our workers are protected in all kinds of ways.

Laws on working conditions protect workers at the minimum wage level, of course, but also on the number of hours worked, sick leave, parental leave, health and safety at work, end of employment conditions. employment, vacations... Added to this is the right to unite to express our opinion through the unions. The latter also negotiate better working conditions than what the law requires. And we're adding more with the Environmental Protection Act and Health Canada which ban certain toxic substances both in the workplace and elsewhere. You are going to say that we could do better and you are not only entirely entitled to think so and you are right! But...

What about the countries where the majority of our clothes are designed?

Condition of work

In 2015, it was estimated that China topped the list as an exporter of clothing with more than 160 billion Canadian dollars in exports in this industry. This represents almost 40% of global production . It is followed distantly by the European Union, India, the United States, Pakistan and several other small countries.

Although it seems true that the Chinese textile industry has been undergoing a transformation over the past ten years, that new laws have been adopted, that workers have seen their working conditions improve and that certain companies are able to produce ethical clothing (Patagonia), the majority of clothing produced there involves rather difficult working conditions. In their effort to establish more laudable working conditions, the minimum wage of industry employees has increased considerably in recent years. Employees today earn, on average, $240/week while the minimum living wage is estimated at $560/week. This is still clearly insufficient.

Although the Chinese government has put in place several laws aimed at protecting workers, these are not really enforced and little control is exercised in this regard. There is still forced labor today (up to 80 hours per week) and an increasingly felt shortage of low-skilled workers still encourages child labor in 2018. The International Federation for Human Rights still describes several practices in China.

What about the impact of improvements in China?

The combination of improved working conditions in the textile sector and the shortage of unskilled labor in China has led certain brands to relocate massively and seek alternatives allowing them to maintain a high level of profitability. They headed to countries where labor is even cheaper. While the average daily wage in China is around $27/day, this massive relocation has gone to Bangladesh, Vietnam ($6.70/day), Indonesia ($8.60/day) , Myanmar... These countries legislate not only an even lower minimum wage but even more deplorable working conditions. A very eloquent report on working conditions in these countries has been produced, it is worth seeing again and again:

We are sure that you already knew the majority of the information contained in this blog article! However, '' Fast Fashion '' is in full swing in today's society. The purchase of ecological clothing , Canadian clothing and ethical clothing is still marginal today. We invite you to take into account the different aspects mentioned in order to use your power as a consumer and make a change. At the end of the day, whatever you think, it is we who hold the power of our consumption and it is our choices that influence companies to take responsibility. Think about it! Eco Loco offers you the opportunity to purchase ethical and ecological clothing: Clothing for her

Ecologically yours,

eco loco


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