Blog

Read in their own words how our colleagues and partners are  transforming the fashion industry to make it a force for good

Constitutional Labour Reform in Mexico: and now what?

Enforce. This is the verb that I have read or heard the least in relation to the 2017 Constitutional Labour Reform in Mexico. I think it is altogether fitting to welcome these changes to the nation’s constitution, as well as those that were promulgated on 1 May 2019 relative to the Federal Labour Law (LFT). However, as with all reforms in any country, the greatest challenge could lie in its enfo…

Stephen Birtwistle

Women Funded 2019 brings together women from around the world to share their experiences

Empowerment and transparency in the fashion industry were among the issues discussed at the conference, which was held in San Francisco, California  Empowering women, making the fashion industry more transparent and fighting violence in the workplace are all urgent issues. Therefore, bringing women together to share their experiences and the lessons they have learned is a timely initiative. Tha…

K.K. Verdade, Jana Silverman, Rachel Micah-Jones

A new dawn in the fight against gender-based violence at work?

Olivia Windham Stewart reflects on her week at the United Nations General Assembly, where C&A Foundation launched the joint statement: Our Commitment to a Future with Fair Work.  On 21 June 2019, the International Labour Conference (ILC) voted to adopt a new ILO Convention and Recommendation to address violence and harassment at work – Convention 190 and Recommendation 206. The adoption of the…

Olivia Windham Stewart

Gender, Equity and Inclusion: The C&A Foundation Journey

Consider who you think of when we ask you to picture a corporate leader, investor or factory manager. Now think about who you imagine assisting you at the service counter in a retail outlet, or modeling the clothing, or sewing the garments.  When it comes to gender, we are conditioned to recognize women as shoppers, retail workers, and factory workers.  They are much less often the decision-mak…

Bama Athreya

Not so fast — fashion: can circular business models slow it down?

The challenging context of fast fashion  We need to put the brakes on the runaway environmental and social impacts of fashion. Both society and the environment are paying too high a price for our insatiable desire for clothes.  We all know the hidden cost of the fashion industry, which employs between 25 and 60 million people alone in the production of garments¹, many in low-wage jobs with poor…

Sam Gillick-Daniels

Creating a socially fair circular economy in the apparel industry

The concept of the circular economy is entering the mainstream. But a circular economy isn’t just about materials and resources, it’s about people too. We need to show now, more than ever, that the transition to a circular apparel industry can be inclusive and fair. Our new Request For Proposals for implementation initiatives or research programmes is a first step to making this happen and will…

Ilan Vuddamalay

Transparency: not just a motto, but definitive action for transforming the world

The fashion industry has a troubled history when it comes to transparency. Known for having a highly complex, fragmented and difficult-to-trace supply chain, the business model often means a limited overview of what conditions clothes are produced in, opening up gaps that can lead to workforce being exploited. From the famous 1911 fire at New York's Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory, which kille…

Mariana Xavier

Is Child Labor Out of Fashion? - Meet Arshi’s family and find out

The hidden supply chain This March I met 12-year-old Arshi in front of her small house, where her parents, Jousef and Parveen, had stretched a large piece of fabric across a frame. On the fabric were pre-drawn sleeves and the bodice of a jacket to be cut and assembled later. Jousef and Parveen were stitching silver sequins inside the outline of a star covering the back of the jacket. Destined f…

Nina Smith

Backward-thinking technology

Textiles have always been at the forefront of innovation. As a craft that spun from home wear and clothing to fabrics used for war and hard industry, we may tend to associate it with women’s work and pretty patterns, but the association of textiles with innovation is as old as innovation itself. The ingenious development of the loom; the ability to identify complicated, naturally occurring chemic…

Orsola de Castro

Before blockchain, get the right address: open data mapping & unique IDs to jumpstart collaboration

Blockchain. Traceability. Digital IDs. Transparency. So many of us have heard talk of these exciting new models and technologies flying around the halls of apparel industry conferences, as we look to solutions for a more sustainable garment industry. But there’s an industry wide problem, rarely discussed, that must be solved before the potential power of these ideas and technologies can be vetted…

Natalie Grillon

Making Fashion a Force for Good

Last week, I travelled to Panipat, India as part of a visit to one of our partners, GoodWeave.  A town of half a million souls, Panipat is, unusually, the destination for many of our unwanted clothes.  Women sort through piles of “recycled” clothing, pulling out what can be reworn and dissembling what can be salvaged.  Watching this process (through this captivating documentary, Unravel) can be so…

Leslie Johnston

A milestone for organic cotton

With all the negativity in the media, it can be easy to miss the good news. It can be easy to miss that we are right in the middle of unstoppable movement towards sustainability. And it can be easy to miss the milestones.  This month, Pakistan hit one of those important milestones producing its first bale of certified organic cotton. Pakistan is the fifth largest producer of cotton in the world a…

Anita Chester

Improving Farmer Livelihood, One Drip at a Time

At a time when it seems like the world is falling apart, success stories that illustrate how small efforts can make a big difference feel like balsam for the soul. I am lucky enough to be a part of a small team working to make an impact in the lives of cotton farmers in my home country of India.  Farmers in India, especially smallholder farmers, are facing unprecedented challenges. Issues like wa…

Litul Baruah

Transparency: a blunt knife or surgeon’s scalpel?

The concept of transparency is being diluted to include all types of information. Sarah Ong, programme manager at C&A Foundation, asks how we can sharpen our focus on incisive data that makes transparency actionable in the apparel industry.  Transparency used to be a dirty word - at least in the apparel industry. Eighteen years ago, three academics - Archon Fung, Dara O’Rouke, and Chuck Sabel – p…

Sarah Ong