The Human Cost of Fast Fashion

Perhaps when you think of fashion, you envision models on a runway, elegant outfits, and the joy of both looking and feeling beautiful. While this is all true, there is also a dark side to fashion that is often overlooked - the exploitation, imbalance, and injustice present within the industry.

The reality is that much of the success of clothing brands in the fashion industry comes at the expense of the men, women, and even children who make their garments. Laborers are coerced into working situations with promises of a better life for themselves and families, only to be underpaid and overworked. They receive inadequate sick pay and little opportunity to progress in their careers. 

At Poème, we believe that the human cost of fashion is much too high and that clothing should not come at the expense of people or our planet. That is why we are proud to be a Justice in Fashion Ambassador and do our part to make much-needed reforms in the world of clothing. With gender inequalities, human rights abuses, and other imbalances in the fashion industry supply chains, there is much work to be done.

Fast fashion is perhaps the biggest culprit of using cheap labor to mass produce trendy clothing. There are still too many businesses exploiting others for financial gain, and let’s not forget the harsh reality of workers in Bangladesh whose struggles were only exemplified by the pandemic. 

We are proud to say that Poème’s core value is that of empowerment. The beautiful garments we offer are ethically made by artisans who receive above Indonesian industry-standard wages, 8-hour workdays, vacation time, and health insurance. Working with an experienced, small, family-run manufacturer in Bali, we genuinely value our workers. We ensure that they never have to experience unfair working conditions or poverty.

Evoking Positive Change From Your Closet

What can you, the consumer do to create positive change? While it may feel like you are too far removed from the situation to make a difference, you have more power than you may realize. There is positive influence in being a conscious shopper by considering a brands' integrity before you buy. It may take more time, and some research may be required, but in doing so, you will be giving a voice to the silenced worker.

Being a conscious consumer means fighting for Justice in Fashion and standing up for those who make our clothes. Instead of sitting on the sidelines, you actively choose to help transform the fashion industry by holding manufacturers accountable for their production processes and the workers they employ. 

Change starts small, but that does not mean it is impossible. You may think your shopping choices do not make a difference but trust us when we say that every choice matters. You have the power to positively impact the lives of men, women, and children around the world. 

Will you join us? We hope so. 

If you’re looking for a place to start, consider joining the Justice in Fashion’s Ambassador Program. By doing so, you’ll be joining an inspiring group of individuals committed to fighting systemic injustices of wealth and power in the fashion industry, giving a voice to the voiceless, and improving the lives of oppressed workers around the world.