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#ChooseToChallenge the Fashion Industry

This year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) theme is #ChooseToChallenge, and here at Reluv, we #ChooseToChallenge the fashion industry and the conditions garment workers face globally.

According to the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, there are 60 and 70 million garment workers worldwide, and 75 per cent are women. Most work in conditions where workers’ rights are non-existent, due to a demand for new, fast and cheap fashion. In most manufacturing countries, the average garment worker works 14-16 hours per day, seven days a week, with 96 work hours per week the norm. Many experience abuse at work (and at home); have to leave their children alone in cities whilst they work; and go without food and basic necessities.

ChooseToChallenge the Fashion Industry

[Graphic courtesy of Sustain Your Style, available here]

The collapse of Rana Plaza in 2013, killed 1134 garment workers and injured hundreds more in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This tragic event occurred just a day after workers complained raised concerns about safety due to cracks in the building. This event opened the world’s eyes to the poor conditions and mistreatment of garment workers, and started a push for change.

During a visit to Bangladesh, Reluv’s founder, Karen Freidin, learnt about the importance of supporting and empowering Bangladeshi garment workers through Women’s Cafes. These cafes support female garment workers by providing childcare and education on reproductive health, finances, labour laws and conflict resolution. They also serve to provide support for women experiencing domestic violence. This helped to inspire Reluv – a way for people to buy “new” fashion whilst supporting garment workers and reducing their impact on the environment.

Fabric of Our Society, the foundation arm of Reluv, works to address the social issues in the fashion industry by funding programs that improve the education, economic empowerment, quality of life, professional advancement and health and well-being of garment workers in developing countries.

But we can’t do it without your help – every time you make a purchase with Reluv, you can choose to donate to help garment workers at checkout and Reluv will match the donation. It doesn’t matter how much you donate, every little bit helps us provide better conditions and an improved quality of life for garment workers. With hundreds of beautiful preloved items just waiting to be Reluv-ed, it is the perfect opportunity to add a piece to your wardrobe and support women who need it most. Start browsing here, now.

ChooseToChallenge the Fashion Industry

A challenged world is an alert world and an alert world helps to inspire and create change. This IWD, we encourage you to be aware of the issues in the fashion industry; share your knowledge with others; and where possible, help us help garment workers. Your donation means Reluv can work to challenge the fashion industry by providing women with support and better working conditions in garment factories.

To learn more about Fabric of Our Society, click here. If you’d like to learn more about garment workers, click here.

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