Thanks to the efforts of humanitarian and manufacturing visionaries, fair trade alternatives are revolutionizing the denim supply chain.
One by one, organizations across the board have begun to heed consumer demands for supply chain transparency. Industries such as IT, which have long resisted ethical manufacturing and sourcing, are now attempting to eradicate violence from their supply chain, and this sea change is beginning to catch on with clothing retailers.
The fashion industry, with its relentless drive towards cheaper costs and higher profits, has long been typified by an abysmal human rights record extending from raw material production through the manufacturing process. In recent years, however, companies have started to move away from the status quo. For example, retailer Everlane has built its industry success on a framework of “radical transparency,” where every step along the supply chain journey is made visible to customers.
Nowhere is this shift more apparent than in the denim industry, which has traditionally relied on poor labor conditions and environmentally-damaging cotton production to cut costs. While Fairtrade Foundation is calling on key players to abide by ethical standards in their cotton manufacturing and supply, denim companies such as Kuyichi are dreaming up inventive ways to ensure that their cotton farmers and jean manufacturers are provided with fair pay and safe working conditions.