THE POWER OF STATEMENTS
What Statements Have Reached
The Story of Statements
The story of statements is how FairBuy came into existence.
In early 2014, when Cambodian garment workers went on a union-led strike to raise the minimum monthly wage, military police shot into the crowd. One global company which has production in Cambodia, Adidas, published a statement on their own homepage, announcing to withdraw all production from Cambodia, if this happened again. Other brands joined. It worked.
FairBuy was founded a few weeks later to turn small donations (as known from private carbon offsetting programs) into credibility for statements about the willingness to carry the costs of fair wages - in order to encourage fashion brands and retailers to use their power, to make their statements for fair wages, too.
In september 2014, our approach was shared by some of the biggest brands (C&A, H&M, Inditex (e.g. Zara), N Brown Group, Tchibo, Next, Primark, and New Look), who made their pledges by writing an open letter to the government of Cambodia, preceding the wage negotiations. After few brands had distanced themselves from these commitments, others wrote a second letter to support the pledges for higher wages (Adidas Group, Ash City/alphabroder, Creative Apparel Concepts, J. America, Nike, New Balance, Prama, Puma, and Tailgate Clothing Company). The minimum wage was raised by 28% and now lies above the poverty level.
This is a start. Of yourse, much more has to happen, but it is a start.
Brands can use their power to influence the industry in a good way.
And consumers, that is US, can accelerate the process by telling our brands to join.
On April 24, 2015, the second sad anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, is the 2nd Fashion Revolution Day.
It is a great start to ask - as so many did last year that day - where their clothes come from. But, again, it is only a start. We have to show that we are willing to carry the additional costs (in a market which buying decisions are still believed to be driven by price-sensitivity only).
And we have to put credibility into our statements.
This is what we do by forwarding the money.
Until otherwise stated, it will go to the Rana Plaza Donors' Trust, to support the victims of the collapse (who lost their family's livelihood earner or their own ability to earn their livelihood).