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Fixing Fashion (PDF)
Rethinking the Way We Make, Market and Buy Our Clothes
With sales of more than US $500 billion a year, the fashion industry is one of the most important sectors of the global economy, employing millions of men, women, and often children in the developing world. And yet its record is far from pretty. The collapse of Bangladesh's Rana Plaza with some 3,500 garment workers inside was a shocking example of what can go wrong when manufacturers ruthlessly cut costs while turning a blind eye to labor rights and workplace safety issues.
Written by an apparel industry insider, Fixing Fashion argues that the true legacy of Rana Plaza is increased awareness of how cheap, disposable clothing had led time and again to serious environmental, community and labour rights abuses. Ethical supply chain professional Michael Lavergne explores:
- The birth of the global apparel trade, from colonialism and slavery to today's neoliberal Free Trade agenda
- How the infamous race to the bottom has led to some of the worst social and environmental excesses in the global apparel industry
- The rise of a new breed of entrepreneurs and stakeholders driving change and transparency across international supply chains.
By taking a hard look at the very real impacts of our consumer culture's addiction to disposable fashion, Fixing Fashion challenges each of us to take full responsibility for understanding the hidden cost of our clothes.
Michael Lavergne is an ethical supply chain professional who has spent the past eighteen years leading sourcing initiatives across Asia, Latin America, The Middle East, Africa and North American markets. He gained experience in labor, human rights and environmental issues in Central America, Mexico and SE Asia and has supported responsible industry development in East Africa and The Middle East. Michael has written on ethical trade issues for Canadian Business Magazine, The Toronto Star, and The National Post, among others. He is a board member of Fashion Takes Action, serves on the industry Stakeholder Advisory Committee for UNCTAD/ITC's Sustainable Trade for Development initiative, and speaks regularly at industry events such as The Sustainable Fashion Forum and the World Ethical Apparel Roundtable.
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