It is easy to live with an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality when our society honors quick and easy accessibility the way that it does. However, one of the most severe issues perpetuated as a norm within the fast fashion industry is the unfair labor practices of the people who are making your favorite t-shirt.
It is our job as consumers to recognize and educate ourselves on the ramifications of buying from a fast fashion retailer. To understand a sustainable business model as it pertains to the humans creating the products, there are many layers to focus on. Beginning with honoring who the first people are to turn the clothing designs into a wearable garment. Of course these people are crucial for any fashion brand aiming to produce clothing, however often times these people are paid the least, work in the worst conditions and are the most vulnerable.
At People Of Leisure, they operate on something called a “Zero Sweat” model which essentially means they consider their sewing operators heroes and their goal is to protect them and make sure they are getting paid a fair wage. Through this practice, they are creating clothing based on an ethical manufacturing process that turns into a slow fashion approach. They also hire their workers locally in Los Angeles and make the pieces locally as well, which generates a direct to consumers business model.
This slow fashion approach to manufacturing allows the time it takes to create quality pieces that last instead of being tossed into a landfill after only a few wares. This process also safeguards workers so that they are not only being paid fairly but also working healthy hours.
As we begin to open our eyes to the way clothing is produced we can look to companies like People of Leisure who are transparent and excited to share their sustainable business practices. When a brand is excited and transparent that creates a ripple effect to force honesty from brands not holding themselves to higher standards of fair-trade practices. As the sustainable fashion movement grows, People Of Leisure is excited to be at the forefront of change.