Blog

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

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