From Farm to Factory: A 3 Part Series on Social Impacts in Apparel

Part One 

Cotton is known as “the fabric of our lives,” and it’s true. Chances are you are wearing cotton fibers right now. This cash crop is indispensable to the apparel industry and the economies of entire countries. However, its environmental and social impact is huge.

Through this series we’ll gain a deeper understanding of this critical crop, understand methods to reduce its footprint and learn how to define sustainable cotton now and in the future.

Part Two

In the second installment, we’ll be looking at transparency and traceability in the supply chain beyond cotton. These concepts are key to improving environmental and workplace conditions in fashion supply chains. Traceability is about gathering information and transparency is about exposing it. The ultimate goal is always accountability. 

Part Three

Despite decades — centuries even — of global efforts, slavery can still be found not just on the high seas, but around the world and throughout various supply chains. Through this series on forced labor, sponsored by C&A Foundation, we’ll explore many different types of bonded and forced labor and highlight industries where this practice is alive and well today. Particularly, we’ll examine the fashion industry and have a look into the supply chain: from the cotton fields of Uzbekistan to India homes in India where often bead work is done by children far too young. We’ll also examine what governments and brands are doing to halt this disturbing practice — and what they should be doing.

This 3-part series is underwritten by C&A Foundation

Forced Labor Is More Common In the U.S. Than You Might Think

American workers are exploited in industries from agriculture to manufacturing to sex trafficking -- and the H2 visa program contributes to the problem.

Brazil’s Political Turmoil Endangers 20 Years of Progress on Forced Labor

The political and economic chaos in Brazil threatens much of the progress the country has made since the turn of the century, including…

Remake: Making Fast Fashion Uncool

By humanizing the women who make our clothes, Remake is looking to mobilize consumers to move beyond boycotts and vote with their wallets.

How Bonded Labor Fuels India’s Garment Industry

Bonded labor has become common across India's garment sector, as suppliers seek to keep costs down in a hyper-competitive industry. Within this sector,…

Twitter Chat Recap: #ForcedFashion with C&A Foundation

C&A Foundation, Remake, Freedom Fund, and TriplePundit hosted a discussion on forced labor – an issue that still plagues supply chains around the…

3p Weekend: How You Can Help Stamp Out Modern-Day Slavery

While those of us in the Western world tend to think of slavery as a thing of the past, that couldn't be further…

High-Fashion Brands Lag on Slavery in Supply Chains

These brands don't skimp on quality fabric and stitching, but that doesn't mean they take active steps to remove forced labor from their…

Millions Still Slaves to Fashion

Growing momentum around the issue of modern slavery is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss, writes Brandee Butler, Head of Gender Justice…

Child Labor In the Clothing Industry

Child labor is all too common in India. “It is everywhere,” Anindit Roy Chowdhury of the C&A Foundation told TriplePundit. It is so…

Policy Efforts to Eradicate Forced Labor — Too Little, Too Late

While legislation is finally coming online to strengthen corporations' voluntary commitments on forced labor, loopholes remain.

Ties to Labor and Human Rights Among Palm Oil Leaders and Laggards

Palm oil defines the world's struggle to make more food and consumer goods products while mitigating their impact on people. So, who are…

Despite Efforts, Forced Labor Still Embedded in Apparel

Despite considerable progress in the last few years, forced labor remains a problem in many industries. And the garment and apparel sector is…

Twitter Chat Recap: #FashionTransp w/ C&A Foundation

C&A Foundation, LaborVoices, Project Just, and TriplePundit hosted a Twitter Chat in which dozens of participants looked at transparency in the fashion and…

4 Ways to Educate Consumers Without Being Preachy

TriplePundit sat down with Sandra Stumbaugh, VP of communications for Fair Trade USA, and Justin Dillon, CEO of Made in A Free World,…

‘Project Just’ Gamifys Fashion Transparency from the Ground Up

Project Just's online platforms connect consumers with data on the brands they love. We spoke with co-founder Natalie Grillon about the transparency challenges…

Why Europe’s Garment Policies Matter

The European Commission's Garment Initiative aims to support its member governments and other actors in responsibly managing their supply chains. If it goes…

Fashion Transparency Starts With Workers

Fashion is one of the largest industries in the world with many moving parts. It can be difficult to navigate, especially for those…

Can A Company Be ‘Good’ If It Isn’t Transparent?

Can a company be socially responsible without a transparent supply chain? Organizations unwilling to make their operations visible to consumers may be left…

Data Mapping Improves Compliance and Transparency in Bangladesh’s Garment Industry

One data project underway at a leading university in Bangladesh shows promise in helping those vested in the country’s garment sector to bolster…

Three Years After Rana Plaza, Worker Safety Improves in Bangladesh

One significant outcome of the tragic Rana Plaza factory collapse is the Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. Rob Wayss, the…

New Platform Seeks To Improve the Relationship Between Buyers and Suppliers

In the apparel industry, a brand's own buying practices can often impede its suppliers' ability to comply with codes of conduct, research finds.…

Cotton Production Transparency: Unraveling the Mysterious Supply Chain

Cotton is a particularly demanding crop with a complex supply. And while the solutions to complex issues are never simple, forward-thinking brands are…

Transparency, Accountability and Better Working Conditions

One thing is clear: Just being transparent is not enough. The next step is figuring out how transparency can empower real changes that…

Transparency and the Key to Consumer Trust

More than 100 years ago, the first fledgling calls for business transparency were heard. At that time, it was in the grueling textile…

Brands Must Do More to Promote Cotton with a Story

Cotton is the livelihood for an estimated 250 million people — saying no to cotton is hardly the solution. Saying yes to more…

Educating Consumers About Buying Sustainably

How do you increase awareness of buying sustainably among consumers? The key is getting information to them.

Best Practices in Purchasing for Fashion Brands

As You Sow found that many supply-chain compliance violations whose root causes were considered to be in the hands of garment factories "are…

Twitter Chat Recap: #CottonTalk w/ C&A Foundation

Today, the C&A Foundation, WWF and Eileen Fisher discussed the drive around the sustainable cotton industry, and why it is making a huge…

Sustainable Cotton Has a Demand Problem

Despite the many types of sustainable cotton now making up around 10 percent of global supply, there is a gap between supply and…

Forced Labor Continues in Uzbek, Turkmen Cotton Fields

Once again this year, the government of Uzbekistan forcibly mobilized its citizens to the cotton fields to prepare carry out the 2015 harvest…

3p Weekend: 10 Brands Doing Sustainable Cotton Right

From organic fast-fashion to fair trade, these 10 brands are showing it's possible to do sustainable cotton right.

Addressing Forced Labor in the Garment Industry

The first inklings of international labor standards were hammered out almost a century ago, with the optimism that human rights abuses could be…

How Cotton Recovery is Changing the Game for Sustainable Fashion

As an international solutions provider for clothing reuse and recycling, I:CO is tackling this issue by creating a closed-loop production cycle in which…

Quenching Cotton’s Thirst: Reducing the Use of Water in the Cotton Lifecycle

Seventy percent of the earth’s fresh water goes toward agriculture production. Cotton sucks up about 3 percent of this, which is pretty significant,…

The Race to Accelerate Global Organic Cotton Production

Eileen Fisher and other retail brands spearhead initiative to increase organic cotton production globally.

The Challenges to Expanding Organic Cotton

Non-organic cotton’s impact on the environment is huge, which is why many say it may be the most important product to buy organic.…

The Low-Down On Sustainable Cotton

Cotton supports about 250 million people globally. But conventional cotton growing is just not sustainable. We spoke with Anita Chester, head of sustainable…