Safia Minney has long been on my list of ethical fashion heroes. You might know her best as the visionary behind pioneering ethical brand People Tree, which has been producing beautiful garments and advocating for workers rights for 20 years- or you might have been introduced to Safia through The True Cost Documentary.
I've just recently learned of Safia's latest project, a book and campaign titled "Slave To Fashion" that aims to expose slavery and exploitation in the fashion industry.
In Safia's words; "In setting up People Tree 25 years ago, I've met hundreds of garment workers in the slums and sweatshops to understand the need for Fair Fashion and the worst forms of exploitation they face. I've seen 8 year old boys lying sick on the factory floor and heard workers tell stories about how they are forced into bonded labour and their documents held by their employers, who claim workers cannot leave their workplace as they owe them money".
The campaign brief states: "Slave to Fashion" will raise awareness of modern slavery in the fashion industry and show how it can be eradicated by businesses and consumers, bringing the facts, stories and actions we must take to eradicate modern slavery. Safia and her team will research and produce micro documentaries and interviews featuring stories of men, women and children caught in slavery in Europe and the developing world who make the clothes we buy on the high street. "Slave To Fashion" will also profile the best ethical practice of brands and designers within the fashion industry. The project will prove that fashion can be used to empower workers - whilst creating beautiful, competitive and accessible fashion. Along with the publishing of the book, "Slave To Fashion" will launch an educational micro website for schools around the world and create and distribute resources for campaigners.
I'm so excited to watch this campaign unfold, and I'm particularly excited about the fact that part of the campaign will include creating campaigns for schools! There's such a need to educate kids and teens about the fashion industry and how they can begin to advocate for change, even from a young age.
Safia's kickstarter campaign has only 72 hours to go, with about $9000.00 left to raise. In a transparent move that I admire, the entire project's budget breakdown is shared on the Kickstarter page, so you'll know exactly what your money is going toward. Ethical fashion community, let's get together and help make this happen! I just donated to the fund (and reserved my copy of the "Slave To Fashion" book when it releases), and I hope you'll consider joining me!