Ethical clothing: the new fair trade frontier?

This is an excellent, thoughtful post written by an acquaintance, Leah Reesor, who is currently living in Nepal with her husband. She poses the challenging question of why ethical clothing isn’t widely available to consumers in North America and why it should be.

Luke & Leah in Nepal

On Wednesday morning, after reading about the devastating building collapse and death of many garment workers in Bangladesh, I turned around in my chair and saw that the label of my jacket slung over the back said “Made in Bangladesh”. As more news is coming out now about what happened, and which clothing retailers are supplied by the affected factories (Wal-Mart and Joe Fresh, among others), I’m left feeling stuck and uncomfortable in my own clothes.

For most of us, it’s not feasible to raise our own sheep, grow our own cotton, spin, weave and sew our own clothes (if you have done this, or know someone who has, all I can say is…wow. Especially if you’ve figured out how to make your own Gore-tex.)

But what are our choices? On the one hand, big name brands have negotiating power and can have a lot of impact on setting…

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