Garment Bill Passage Is ‘Inflection Point’ For American Fashion, Say Business Owners

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The week started on a positive note for ethical fashion.

With the passage of the Garment Worker Protection Act (or SB-62) in California on Monday in a package of worker protection bills signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Los Angeles is turning more to Los Angeles as hub of local ethical manufacturing.

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Calling the adoption of SB-62 a fashion “inflection point”, Nicole Robertson, founder and CEO of the online swap store Swap Society, a pro-Bill company, applauded the efforts of garment workers, citizens, nonprofits and California businesses who have come together to show their support for the Garment Worker Protection Act and demand fair wages.

“Swap Society signed on as the brand endorser because we believe the people who make our clothes deserve dignity, safe working conditions and fair pay,” Robertson reiterated. “California is leading the way in telling the world that the exploitation of garment workers for profit will no longer be tolerated. It is inconceivable that the majority of garment workers in Los Angeles earn a third of the minimum wage. “

The “ineligible” wages Robertson referred to are just pennies on a one-time operation per garment. Under previous legislation, garment workers in Los Angeles earned about $ 5.85 per hour, or $ 334 per week on average, for more than 57 hours of work, with no compensation for meal and rest breaks. That’s according to a December 2020 report from the Garment Worker Center, a cosponsor of SB-62.

With SB-62’s elimination of piecework, LA’s garment industry hopes to be one less force on the California economy (the state losing millions of stolen wages every year) and a step further. before for its ethical reputation.

“Shifting the fashion industry from extraction to regeneration requires the responsibility of brands, governments, nonprofits and consumers. The adoption of SB-62 is a perfect example of all parties working together to create a fairer and more dignified livelihood for garment workers in California, ”said Mairin Wilson, head of brand regeneration practices. Christy Dawn, based in Los Angeles. “I challenge us, as an industry, to continue to insist on workers’ rights, not only at home in California, but for all global suppliers across our supply chains.”

Expressing gratitude to those who have fought tirelessly for this “crucial step,” Margaret Kleveland, CEO and co-founder of the Dôen earthy label, agrees that the industry must “do workers throughout the supply chain.”

“Justice for garment workers and ethical manufacturing is an industry-wide responsibility. We should all be responsible, ”said Kristy Caylor, Founder and CEO of the For Days circular brand.

Christy Dawn, For Days and Dôen were among more than 140 companies supporting the passage of SB-62, as part of the business coalition set up by the GWC which also included Reformation, Swap Society, Eileen Fisher and the Saitex denim factory.

“I hope this law will signal that ‘Made in USA’ is again something reliable and equates to ethical practices,” said Sanjeev Bahl, Founder and CEO of Saitex. “More broadly, his passing demonstrates that change can and does happen in a systemic way. As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic – in the United States – I hope this death can be a model to better rebuild the fashion industry. “

For more information, see:

Garment Workers’ Landmark Legislation Could Redefine Sustainable Fashion

California Governor Gavin Newsom Signs Garment Workers Protection Act

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