I’m guilty of it. I was a huge bargain shopper and I feel like I scored when I pick up a dress for only 11 dollars. It’s not even second hand. I didn’t even think twice about why it was so cheap. I just thought it was super cute and pretty.
When I read about the building collapse in Bangladesh in which 400 people were killed, I realize just how costly my 11 dollar dress was. I read in an NPR article that only 2% of the clothes are domestically manufactured. In the 50’s, that percentage 100%. I can see that. When I go shopping at the mall, I usually look at the “made in ____” label and often I see China, Guatemala, Bangladesh, India etc. Companies like Land’s End or Levi’s will have a “limited edition” made in the US clothing and it’s a very small section.
I was on the REI site the other day looking for a shell for my 3 year old and the only thing that was made in the US were socks. I know there are ethical producers in global markets but I have no real guarantee unless it’s fair trade certified or I happen to know that the artisan producers are paid a fair wage and working under safe conditions with proper breaks.
I have a tough time looking for US made or fair trade certified products for my kids — I think that’s why I’m contemplating sewing more of their clothes or the dream is to design clothes under lilsoak someday. That would be the dream.
It breaks my heart to know that when I see the cute clothing at Target — that we paid a high cost from an unknown poor factory worker overseas.
We are committed to finding all fair trade certified or USA/Canadian made clothing and accessories and sharing it here on our blog. There are a ton of great UK companies that have fair traded clothing but I have started to find some great US made clothing for kids and adult alike.