Ethical Fashion Challenge


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Day 4: Policies

You’re halfway through the challenge! How has it been so far? Have your friends, family, and colleagues been following your journey?

TIP: Why not try a video post, reflecting on your journey so far?

Please do share your stories with us and tag @BaptistWorldAid in your posts… as we would love to re-share what you’re doing with our own community!

Today we’re talking about POLICIES!

Our prayer is that this takes you deeper in your understanding of the global fashion industry and gives you the ability to speak even more confidently about the role we as consumers can play in ending exploitation.

In order to protect their workers, companies need to have policies in place to address the risk of exploitation across the breadth of their production. Policies are the first step to creating a robust supply chain management system!

The implementation of company policies and codes of conduct is crucial to ensuring the fair treatment of workers and that their rights are upheld. By integrating policies across multiple levels of the supply chain, companies and suppliers can work together to eliminate child labour, forced labour, discrimination, and exploitation.

So… how is the global fashion industry tracking?

The 2019 Ethical Fashion Report found that one of the biggest areas of improvement was the development of company policies specifically addressing gender inequality. 61% of companies (an increase of 22% from last year) have created policies addressing gender inequality in their supply chain, including the introduction of strategies addressing discrimination faced by women. There has also been a 17% increase in the number of companies with robust remediation plans to redress child or forced labour if it is found in their supply chain.

The Christina Jessica diaries. Warning… this entry contains reference to a traumatic experience.

We met Christina Jessica when we visited Tamil Nadu, a state in Southern India. Tamil Nadu is at the heart of India’s textile production and Christina Jessica’s experience is one shared by thousands of girls just like her in this region. Today, Christina Jessica continues her story about her life as a worker in the global fashion supply chain.

I was working so long and so hard and I was not being paid fairly. Even though I was just a young girl of 15, I knew that this was not right. So, I went to my supervisor and asked him to increase my pay.
He agreed… but with the condition that I would make it worth his while in other ways.
Working at the spinning mill, harassment and abuse was a regular part of life for my colleagues and me. It was very intimidating. If I complained when I was sick or my period, the male supervisors would become verbally abusive. And sexual harassment and abuse was rife. In fact, it was such a common occurrence, that even those who did not work in the spinning mills came to expect it. Even now, years after leaving, no one will marry me. I am ‘damaged goods’. I am no longer suitable for marriage.

Challenge yourself to go deeper still. 

Host a screening of The True Cost documentary! It’s a great way to educate people about the importance of making ethical shopping choices… and start an important discussion about how your community can take action to better protect workers.

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