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Holding corporations to account: showcasing the social side of sustainability

7 Feb 2020

NEW YORK – The annual Study Hall in New York called on all garment supply chain actors to align with communities to make production, distribution and shopping trends sustainable for future generations.

Staged under the theme: “climate positivity at scale”, the January event brought together some of the world’s leading experts and influencers in fashion.

Better Work’s Tara Rangarajan addressed the urgent need to transform the global apparel industry by exposing the human cost of manufacturing clothes to maximise conscious consumerism.

“The sector has a huge responsibility to reduce the negative impact on the planet and to transform people’s lives – lifting populations out of poverty,” said Rangarajan.

“We can re-define what fashion means, by empowering workers to collectively bargain for their own benefit, while boosting the competitive edge of the brands they are behind,” she added.

Better Work collaborates with worker representatives within factories to ensure the improvement of conditions – including higher living wages and a clamp down on excessive working hours – are a reality.

“Climate change and social justice must go hand-in-hand,” said the Founder of Slow Factory, Céline Semaan.

“It’s time to acknowledge the deep history fashion has with the legacy of exploitation and disposability of people and planet so that we can move forwards towards an industry that benefits all life,” said Co-Founder of Sustainable Brooklyn, Whitney McGuire.

Participants at the forum highlighted the importance of recalling that the success of the fashion business in the United States was built on the economics of transatlantic slavery and the exportation of cotton.

The UN estimates that over 60 million workers are employed in the garment sector, the majority of them are young women. Poverty – in rural and urban areas persists – with half of the world’s population surviving on the equivalent of US$2 a day.

Study Hall will host further conferences throughout 2020.

For additional details see: https://studyhall.earth/

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