Tag Archives: fast fashion

H&M Is Giving Textile Workers A Raise

H&M Is Giving Textile Workers A Raise

H&M may be raising its prices, but for a reason you’ll actually love. The company is aiming to create better conditions in the factories in which their clothes are made. H&M announced its Fair Living Wage policy last month, saying that “all textile workers should be able to live on their wage.” What a breath of fresh air! Its goal is to give raises to over 850,000 of its workers by 2018. Helena Helmersson, the company’s head of sustainability, said that higher prices “might be a possibility,” though so far there has been no official decision to increase prices. Even if it does, it’s hard to imagine H&M ever becoming so expensive that it loses is standing as one of the most affordable places to shop. A few extra dollars added to the price of my sweater is certainly worth improving a textile worker’s standard of living. Keep reading »

Forever 21 Cuts Full Time Employees To Avoid Paying Health Care Costs

Forever 21 & Sweatshops
Forever 21 is in hot water over using sweatshops. Read More »
Bangladesh Accord
topshop will not sign bangladesh accord
TopShop won't sign, Forever 21 on "guilt-free" shopping. Read More »
WTForever 21
A place for the hideous crap found on Forever21.com. Read More »
Let's Talk Fast Fashion
What's wrong with brands like Forever 21, anyway? Read More »
forever 21 letter

Forever 21, you just keep getting better and better. In between lowering your prices to make them more “guilt-free” (with little thought, of course, to the workers who actually make the products), and getting in trouble for sweatshop-like labor conditions, you’ve now gone and fucked over the people who work in your stores. Earlier this week, Forevs sent out a memo noting that any and all “non-management” full-time employees would be reclassified as part-time, effective almost immediately.

“Forever 21,” reads the memo from human resources associate director Carla Macias, “recently audited its staffing levels, staffing needs and payroll in conjunction with reviewing its overall operating budget. As a result, we are reducing a number of full-time non-management positions.” All employees who received the memo will be reduced to a schedule to not exceed 29.5 hours per week. Why is that the magic number? Because under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, mid- and large-sized employers are required to pay for health insurance for employees who work 30 hours or more. Forever 21 thinks it can get around this simply by reducing its technically-full time staff to part-time positions.

And they’re right. Keep reading »

Today In Crappy Retailers: TopShop Still Won’t Sign The Bangladesh Safety Accord

Compassionate Fashion
Dresses from sustainable designer Karen Kane. Read More »
Bangladeshi Woman Alive
Amid the Rana Plaza factory collapse, a woman is found alive. Read More »
Let's Talk Fast Fashion
What's wrong with brands like Forever 21, anyway? Read More »
topshop will not sign bangladesh accord

Back in April, hundreds of workers died after a building collapse at the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh. In the wake of this tragedy, the Bangladesh Safety Accord was created, with the aim of ensuring safety for clothing manufacturer employers. It’s overseen by the United Nation’s International Labor Organization, and signees to the accord agree to regular factory inspections and improved safety measures and standards at factories that produce their garments.

But guess who’s not down to protect the lives of their factory workers? TopShop, that’s who. Since April, more than 80 companies have signed the accord, including H&M, Mango and even Abercrombie & Fitch. (You can check out the full list here.) TopShop agreed to sign in May, but has yet to actually take pen to paper — even after they were urged by the British government to do so in June. Keep reading »

Frisky Q&A: Author Elizabeth Cline Talks Rana Plaza, Sustainable Style & Our Addiction To Fast Fashion

Ethical Clothing?
Clothing Rack
Would you be more likely to buy clothes with an "ethical" label? Read More »
Compassionate Fashion
Dresses from sustainable designer Karen Kane. Read More »
Let's Talk Fast Fashion
What's wrong with brands like Forever 21, anyway? Read More »
Elizabeth Cline author of Overdressed

In the weeks since the horrific collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory — and subsequent deaths of more than a thousand factory workers — we’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a conscientious consumer. As Americans, we’re privy to more and cheaper goods than ever before — and as globalization spreads and the means of production move further and further away, we’re less and less connected to what we buy.

It’s pretty clear that something’s got to give.

Enter Elizabeth Cline. In her new book, Overdressed (not out until the end of August already out, with the hardcover to be released in August), she delves into the rise of cheap, fast fashion, and — by traveling to China and Bangladesh — documents first-hand how our desire for more and newer clothing is impacting the environment, the culture and workers’ lives.

As style editors and fashion lovers, both Winona and I have grappled with wanting to give you, our readers, affordable, accessible options, while also honoring our desire to support fair worker practices and ethical businesses. In the coming weeks and months, we hope to bring you a lot more coverage on conscious, sustainable fashion, alongside some of our affordable shopping guides. There is no such thing as a “perfect” consumer, but we believe in giving you as much information as possible so you can make the decision that’s right for you.

After the jump, I talk to Elizabeth Cline about how we can be better educated and more conscious clothing consumers.

Keep reading »

H&M Announces Clothing Exchange Program

Let's Talk Fast Fashion
What's wrong with brands like Forever 21, anyway? Read More »
Versace x H&M Fight
The designer line causes fights in China! Read More »

Starting in February of next year, when you bring in a bag of old clothes to H&M, the company will recycle them for you and you’ll be rewarded with a discount voucher to buy some new ones. Pretty cool, right? The clothing exchange discount is part of H&M’s new iCollect recycling program, which aims to reduce the massive amount of waste produced by the clothing industry. Not only is the plan good for the earth, it’s also a smart PR move: you might remember a couple years ago when H&M found itself in hot water after The New York Times revealed the company routinely destroyed unsold clothing–including winter coats and gloves–that would gladly be accepted by shelters and charities. Keep reading »

Watch: First Look At Maison Martin Margiela For H&M

Lana's H&M Video
Lana Del Rey, meet David Lynch. Read More »
Marni For H&M
Thirty choice pieces from the collection. Read More »
Watch Video

High-street and department store collaborations with luxury fashion houses are commonplace these days, what with stores announcing a new capsule collection every five minutes (or so it seems). But for all of the brands that choose to affordably market their wares to the mainstream, there are a few whose ethos seem quite at odds with large, budget-priced “fast fashion” retailers. We had pegged Maison Martin Margiela for the renegade type — the brand is, after all, famous for its in some cases unwearable avant-garde, architectural sensibilities — so their decision to join forces with H&M on a one-off line of clothing and accessories came as a certain surprise. We’re not complaining — who wouldn’t want to get their hands on Margiela’s totally weird, totally amazing, Kanye West-namedropped pieces without the four-figure price tag? Keep reading »

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