Importing Part 1: Human Rights Issues

One of the questions we get a lot is where our products come from. Many people are adverse to purchasing items made from third world countries because they are concerned about working conditions, sweatshops, child labor and basic human rights.

Despite public outrage over the last few years, that concern may indeed still be valid at some big-box retailers. However, at FaeriesDance.com, I personally check on the credentials, certifications, auditing and labor standards of every new manufacturer we add to our line up. Not only do the farmers and factory workers who create the products we carry earn living wages in decent working conditions, but in many cases our manufacturers are directly responsible for improving the lives and conditions of the people.

Probably the very best example of this is the manufacturer Pants to Poverty. Their specific goal as a company is to employ the poorest people of the world in a completely sustainable business model in order to stamp out poverty and hunger. They currently employee over 6700 tribal farmers in India with long-term contracts, enabling those farmers to feed and care for families and raise their overall standard of living. Here is a great video with a little fun from Pants to Poverty on the passion of their commitment.

For a more poignant look at the farming conditions and how organic farming combined with fair trade practices have improved the lives of the impoverished, check out this video, also courtesy of Pants to Poverty.

All of our manufacturers have an honest commitment to being socially conscious as well as eco-friendly. Environmental sustainability is only viable if the efforts are also socially sustainable.

Of course, deciding whether to buy something that is made in an emerging nation versus in the USA is a more complex issue than just Human Rights. There are economic, political and even environmental issues (such as the environmental cost of transportation) that must also be considered. I plan to address some of these in future posts, though they are not always very straight-forward. But in this one area of Human Rights, I’m proud to say that our products are actually helping people world wide.

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Just Getting Started … So, What is Eco-Fashion Anyway?

Hello and welcome to the Eco-Fashion Philosopher, a place to discuss the bizarre, unique and fun side of eco-fashion. I named my company Faerie’s Dance as a reminder to frolic a little, to be a joyous environmentalist. No doom and gloom, just clever ways to find a sustainable path to the future – especially if the path is lined with bamboo dresses and organic lace bras. 😉

Of course, there is a serious side to eco-fashion. Over the next few months, I plan to get into some specific details on questions I’ve received about dyes, manufacturing processes, fair trade standards and much more. Most importantly, though, I hope to learn something new, share ideas, and have a little fun.

Not knowing exactly who my audience is quite yet, however, I thought I’d start by answering the obvious question.

What exactly is Eco-Fashion?
Eco-Fashion is the term used for clothing whose production is cleaner and less damaging to our soil and water systems than conventional clothing, and whose manufacturing ensures healthy, stable jobs for the workers that create them. It’s Earth-Friendly clothing that makes a positive impact on people as well.

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