True Cost Tuesday, Vol. 12

True Cost Tuesday, Vol. 12

Hello, friends! It's True Cost Tuesday where we unpack some of the reasons behind why we at Yobel only provide fair trade, ethical, and sustainable clothing, and accessories. October is Fair Trade Month so we want to continue to inform and educate about the importance of Fair Trade.

Today I’d like to specifically talk about the people behind our clothing, including children. There are approximately 75 million garment workers in the world who make everything we wear. Due to the increased demand of clothing, referred to as fast fashion, often times these workers have 10-16 hour days and work six days a week in order to meet the demand. The majority of garment workers are women but also, a shocking 11% of children in the world ages 5-11 are also part of these numbers.

The poorest countries in the world are the highest in child labor. Children are put to work in the cotton fields, for example (which is the first step to making denim). Their hands are small so they can pick the cotton better than adults. Children in these situations fulfill the less skilled tasks to make a garment such as sewing buttons, trimming threads, and folding.

Child labor is extremely complicated and is a sign of larger social issues. Where there is extreme poverty, there is higher child labor. Children in poverty are “willing” to work for little pay and are vulnerable to being tricked into dangerous working conditions. It can be a vicious cycle where parents, also in poverty, end up in low paying work; their children are forced to work, which means they’ll miss out on education, and they too will end up in low paying work as adults.

We as consumers need to remember there is a person (a son or daughter or mother or father) making the t-shirt, jeans and shoes we put on every day. When we do a little bit of research to learn where that t-shirt came from and prioritize purchasing from only Fair Trade brands, we give value to that individual which has a positive ripple effect around the world. Fair Trade stimulates communities and their economies which can help end the vicious cycle of poverty. Yobel’s co-founders began the vision of Yobel Market believing business can end poverty. And we have carried on that legacy believing that when people and our planet are priority, we all profit!

By purchasing Fair Trade, you’re positively impacting people in one of the most traditionally exploitative industries and helping ensure that no children are forced to work under any circumstances. We can make a difference.