By this time, you have all heard of the tragedy that took place in Bangladesh where a clothes manufacturing building collapsed, killing 1,129 people. The tragedy sparked worldwide condemnation about the shoddy business practices that ultimately led to the deaths of so many innocent people. But, in the aftermath, this incident has also sparked questions regarding the link between cheap fashion and worker safety.
There are many who love the thrill of bargain shopping. They are the great hunters who find the best deals on pickles, socks and all other things consumable; nothing wrong with that in theory, who doesn’t love a bargain? But the question now becomes ‘who is really paying the price so you can get an £8.00 hoodie for your teenage son?’
I’m not a huntress. But that goes with the territory of being a couture designer—and working in the fashion houses, I began to realize that a deal is not actually a deal. It really means that someone else is not getting paid or is working in deplorable conditions.
The United Kingdom was once infamous for garments made to a high standard, in terms of workmanship, fabrics and finish. You only had to mention the names of certain key players and they were synonymous with workmanship of pedigree.
I appreciate that it is just not UK retailers that outsource their garment manufacturing to developing countries—the United States, Canada, France and many more do as well, but as a consumer, you do have a say on whether or not you will support substandard working conditions for those who work in developing countries. It is a question for your conscience. It is question for all of us because these people also manufacture our Smartphones, furniture, golf clubs, etc.
My heart goes out to those families who are left to pick up the pieces from a tragedy that was based on profit first, people somewhere down the line – eventually. It is a shame it took the lives of so many people before it became an issue.
I want to assure you that my clothes are handmade by me, including all the embellishment work. I source my fabrics from ethical manufacturers. My clothes have a price attached to them to reflect the quality of workmanship, the fabric and the couture design. In my time on this planet and in good conscious I work at being part of the solution to those things I see that ail humanity, equally I have strong beliefs in providing a luxury product that will last forever.