Globalization: Do You Know Where Your Clothes Are Made?

Globalization: Do You Know Where Your Clothes Are Made?
hm x kenzo

Photos: H&M x KENZO, Photographer: Oliver Hadlee Pearch

Labels use mass production techniques in order to keep costs low and shelves stocked. Ready-to-Wear collections range from the cheapest of t-shirts to highly priced gowns.
Last week, the largest Primark in the Netherlands opened its doors at an A-location in the city centre of Amsterdam. Expectations are that every week 50.000 customers will visit the new flagship store. Although the store is new, the concept of fast fashion stays the same: Dresses and jeans for bottom prices. KENZO just launched its collection cooperation with Swedish textile giant H&M. Another example of how mass-consumption is kept alive.

Where Are Your Clothes Made?

The international trade in clothes has existed for centuries. The fashion industry is globalised and its complex production chain links countries, workers and consumers from all over the world. Mostly without knowing of each other’s existence. For instance, do you know where your clothes are made?

Globalization In The Textile Industry

Throughout the history of the textile and clothing industry, a focus from local production has shifted towards global production chains. There have been shifts in the history of the textile and clothing industry. So was clothing production until the mid- 18th century, widespread across Europe and Asia. While during the industrial revolution the Western part of the world became the main producer of textiles and clothes. Although the production moved to other parts of the world, and focused increasingly on Asian countries, while moving away from Europe and the USA, demand kept rising.
Currently, there are four main countries producing the clothing worn all over the world: China, Turkey, Bangladesh and India.

Transparency Is The Key

By moving the production of clothes to low wage countries, the fashion companies lost track of who made their clothes. A lot of brands don’t know – and don’t care – where the clothes are produced and under what conditions. Because of that, it is very easy for fashion companies to share their responsibility for good working conditions in the manufactories. It’s impossible for companies to make sure human rights are respected and that the environment isn’t being destroyed without knowing where their products are made. That’s why transparency is essential. And companies should definitely care more.

As we see trends come and go in the world of food, interior and fashion. Why can’t we make a change in the trend mass consumption towards the slowness movement? I believe we can change this by asking our favourite brands: WHO MADE MY CLOTHES?

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Laura Snijder
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Laura recently graduated with a Bachelor in Fashion & Textile Technologies. While writing her final thesis for a sustainable Dutch brand, she decided not to take part in the fast fashion industry any longer. That’s why she will open her online-store ‘Take It Slow’ with only the coolest sustainable fashion brands, launching summer 2017. By opening her online store Laura hopes to encourage the modern Dutch women to buy Fair Trade and sustainable fashion items. Meanwhile Laura likes to share her thoughts about slow fashion on Mochni and works part-time for Nukuhiva a Fair Trade fashion- and lifestyle store in Amsterdam.

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