The frenzied Black Friday scenes are familiar: hordes of customers pushing through the doors to get their hands on that special post-Thanksgiving steal of a purchase. But how many of us know where those items are from? Do we really know how that pair of jeans was made, or who put those shoes together?
More than 40 million people work in the garment industry worldwide. As some of the world’s lowest paid workers, they are at the mercy of a system in which many companies strive to maximize profits by paying employees as little as possible. But consumers are beginning to realize the power of their purchases to shape the lives of workers. Patagonia sees this as an opportunity to support the people behind the product and work toward wage equity in the supply chain. And this commitment goes beyond just a few token factories or a new marketing campaign. It is a growing movement that strives to do the right thing, even when it’s difficult or less immediately profitable to do so. Here’s how it works.
This Great Big Story is a paid contribution from Patagonia: http://www.patagonia.com/fairtradeclothing
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