Social Enterprises: Workshops over Sweatshops
Episodes - Sweatshop: Dead Cheap Fashion
A few days after landing back in SF, I was forwarded a link to a mini documentary based on an experiment that placed 3 well known fashion bloggers into the shoes of a typical Cambodian textile worker.
Before visiting China and Cambodia, my idea of a sweatshops were completely different. Where visions of one extreme, like underaged kids behind factory machines, were replaced with a much more subtly disguised unjust system. Watch the short documentary series to catch a glimpse of what life is like as a textile worker, and I challenge you to ask yourself how our habits as consumers feed into this problem.
No way am I saying there anything wrong with coveting high fashion. Trust me, I'm as guilty as the next hype-beast. But one suggestion is to begin considering the people and the story behind the brands that you come across. Take note of the value of a well crafted product, and the artisan behind the product.
That outfit of the day that you just posted on IG may retail for some exorbitant amount. But if it was made by the hands of a worker who goes home trying to figure out how to live off $6.00 a day... well what does that really say?
Tony and I have spent a good amount of time figuring out how we can help in this area. Cambodia is well known for their krama's (scarves). We had always planned on designing our own line, but we knew finding a partner was going to be a challenge. Fortunately for us, serendipitously we managed to get connected with just the right person, who introduced us to Paul and Keeva, the founders of Sonas.org.
We are proud to announced that have partnered with Sonas.org for our textile based products. in doing so we hope to further promote their mission to empower the locals of rural communities in Cambodia. We can only hope to lend a new set of eyes and bring value by tapping into the experience we've picked up here in Silicon Valley and pay it forward by working with social enterprise businesses like Sona. We believe there's a better way.