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Recently, there has been an increase in bills proposed to require sustainability and the rights of garment workers in the fashion industry. If passed, these bills could change what consumers see on their clothing labels and even the design of items. The bills could help finally shift the burden away from shoppers to buy better and less and put it on companies to make better and more sustainable products.
Source: VICE News/YouTube
The Fashioning Accountability and Building Real Institutional Change Act, known as The FABRIC Act, is the first federal fashion bill in the United States. The bill would improve the labor rights of garment workers and shift the American garment manufacturing industry that has long been concentrated offshore. The bill is waiting for assignment to a House committee for study and, unfortunately, could take years before making it to the president.
However, if and when the bill is passed, it could finally end “piece rates,” where workers are paid per item they make, not per hour they work. These workers are also often in places where they are not paid a minimum wage. The bill includes penalties for labor violations and requires record-keeping measures to ensure fair working conditions. The bill would also offer a 30 percent reshoring tax credit scheme to incentivize companies to bring garment manufacturing back to the United States.
The Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act, also known as The Fashion Act, would make New York the first state in the country to finally hold brands accountable for their environmental and social impacts. The bill would require companies that generate more than $100 million in revenues to disclose their supply chains across all production tiers. They would then take the process that they create the most impact on and will then need to reduce those effects like greenhouse gas emissions and chemical use.
The Fashion Worker Act aims to regulate management agencies and provide basic labor protections for models. This includes behind the scene workers like hair and makeup artists and stylists, and influencers. If passed, the act would require agents to pay models and creatives within 45 days of a job. It will also require creatives to be provided with copies of their contracts. The bill will also aim to end agents charging above-market rates for accommodation and commission fees over 20 percent.
The fashion industry has a large carbon footprint and accounts for 10 percent of global human-emitted greenhouse gasses. The environmental impacts of the fashion industry are in addition to the numerous human rights concerns regarding the treatment of textile workers in factories across the globe.
We need to preserve our planet! 13 million tons of clothes end up in our landfills, and fast fashion has changed the way that we think about clothes. It’s always best to recycle clothes and go to second-hand or thrift stores when looking for new clothing. The recent boom in secondhand clothing is reducing fashion’s impact on the planet and showing that secondhand shoppers are eco-conscious and savvy, not just “hipsters”!
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Easy Ways to Help the Planet:
- Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based Recipe app on the App Store to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
- Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take the initiative by standing up against fast fashion Pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that are raising awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
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