By: Trace Weaver
Net Impact held its second meeting in the apparel industry series on Monday, March 21st. For this meeting, we watched most of the documentary called The True Cost, which looks at some of the problems with the fashion industry today. Chief among those is the degrading working conditions of factory workers in Asia. The buildings being used to make our clothes overseas are oftentimes not safe to work in. The world was given a reminder of this a few years ago when over 900 workers were killed in the collapse of a sweatshop in Bangladesh.
In addition to concerns about worker safety, there are also a lot of problems when it comes to worker pay in the sweatshops. Most workers earn just a couple dollars a day and barely have enough water to bathe. This begs the question as to whether we need to take a stand against cheap clothing made overseas in these conditions in order to force a change in the industry. As the film points out, the majority of clothes US citizens wore in the 1960s were made in the United States, compared to just 3% today.
Also, the film addresses the environmental impact of the fashion industry as it is today. A ton of waste is created in the making of clothes, and the factories they are made in can pollute communities as well. This is another are where we in the US can help the cause by recycling our clothes that we don't wear anymore in order to prevent the creation of more waste. Additionally, we should take a stand by purchasing clothes from companies that make a real commitment to sustainability, like Patagonia.
As always, we hope you enjoyed this meeting. Hopefully viewing The True Cost will inspire all of us to make more responsible decision in the purchasing of clothing, even if it hurts our wallets. You won't wanna miss next week's meeting for our final meeting in the apparel industry series! We will be joined by experts in the apparel industry for a panel discussion, which will take place in Hodge Hall 4006 from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. Dress is nice casual and dinner will be provided!
Then on Wednesday, March 30th, we will be joined by Rhonda Patterson and two survivors of sex trafficking. This meeting will be held from 6:00 to 7:30 pm but will take place in the Frangipani Room at the IMU. Dress for this event is business casual. We look forward to seeing you there!