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Support Sustainable Fashion – Say No to Child Labour

On 12th June,’17 when the Governments, Corporates, Worker Organizations, NGOs and many people around the world are uniting to combat Child Labour on the ‘World Day Against Child Labour’, plus when the issue of child labour is rampant in the Fashion & Clothing industry, the time is ripe for Textile & Garment industry players to adopt ‘Sustainable Fashion’ (i.e. fashion discouraging child labour).

To brief you about noble drive of ‘World Day Against Child Labour’- the International Labour Organization (ILO) launched the World Day Against Child Labour in 2002 with a view to eliminate Child Labour across the world, to focus attention on the global extent of child labour and efforts needed to abolish it.

If we talk about the severity of child labour issue in the Textile, Clothing & Garment industry; the textile & clothing industry players across the globe have roped in millions of children into the textile supply- chains, requiring low skilled labour so as to find cheap labour. It is observed that this tender aged labour (i.e. below 18 years age) are involved into laborious activities at various stages of textile & clothing manufacturing like dyeing, sewing buttons, cutting & trimming threads, folding, moving and packing garments. As the children are seen as ‘easy to bargain’ labour as compared to adults; they are widely preferred at work places from cotton fields to garment mills.

Now the point is – How do textile and fashion houses become the active contributors to ‘Consciously made fabric drive’? Here are some of the ways of maintaining sustainability.

  • ‘Strict No to Child-labour’ should be a part of your Corporate Social Responsibility Policy. It also needs to be implemented sincerely.
  • Instead of finding cheap labour for arduous activities requiring less skill; a one-time investment in installation of automated operations can be thought about after analyzing the maintenance costs.
  • According to UNICEF- Poverty and illiteracy are the two major responsible factors for such exploitation of children. Hence, the promoters of sustainable fashion should come ahead to educate the children of their workers to stop child labour. Besides that paying decent wages to your workers can also give a push to this initiative.
  • The promoters of sustainable fashion may join hands for ensuring the compliance of labour policies by textile suppliers through regular monitoring and auditing to check out if the suppliers in textile supply-chain are following the code of conducts or not.
  • Companies walking the path of sustainability can also seek the support of their prospective customers, by declaring that ‘The Company discourages child labour’ and encouraging their target customers to follow the suit.

Also remember that goal of “Sustainably made” garments can be achieved only if the minorities and socially excluded communities are given equal respect that every human deserves.

 

So on this ‘World Day against Child Labour let us pledge to go sustainable by replacing the ‘child labour’ with the ‘worthwhile childhood’!