Who Made My Clothes?-Everlane & Fashion Transparency
By Isabelle Earl
Generally speaking, the world of consumers is becoming more aware of what they purchase. Is it vegan? Is it free-range? What are the company’s actions in the political world? A question we are not asking enough is, “Who made my clothes?”
The secrets and horrors of factory labor is not a new or unheard of topic. There are still terrible working conditions for individuals all over the world, where their wages are insufficient, they are not adequately protected, and they are working inhumane hours, especially during this global pandemic. Even children can be found among factory laborers. Factories in which these conditions and child labor are prevalent directly correlate to the fashion industry, as they are often the backs of which these multi-million and billion dollar companies profit from with cheap labor costs. Due to the recent exposure of these issues, some brands have taken initiative in becoming transparent brands. Everlane is one of these companies, and they pride themselves on their “ethical approach.”
Transparent fashion involves companies practicing awareness by providing consumers with an understanding of who their suppliers are and an inside look at their ethical policies. In forming a close relationship with the consumer, the company can confirm the working conditions and composition of products are up to respectable standards. Everlane, a ‘radically’ transparent clothing company, requires their factories and suppliers to obtain a score of 90 or above on a compliance audit.
While working conditions matter to Everlane, their transparency takes this humane approach a step further, accounting for their prices as well. Everlane believes customers deserve to know how much it costs to make the clothes they’re buying. In describing their vision, Everlane exclaims, “We reveal the true costs behind all of our products—from materials to labor to transportation—then offer them to you, minus the traditional markup price.” Retail items are commonly known to be marked up an irrational and insane amount. Not Everlane.
In breaking down their prices, Everlane displays an easy-to-navigate graphic. Here’s the run-down on their popular Cashmere Crew:
Transparency in fashion is not just about the see-through boots that Kylie Jenner has been seen wearing. It’s so much deeper and revolutionary. It’s a promise of moral standards within a company. As consumers, we care about more than just the product. We care about the makeup, the inflating markup, and the conditions of the hardworking individuals who made the material. Let’s leave the child labor and horrid working conditions behind and enter into a realm of humane society, one that every worker deserves.