Have you ever stopped to think about how the clothes you and your family wear are made? Have you considered who created them—children, women, the elderly? Are they being treated and compensated fairly for their hard work? We have all heard about awful sweatshops producing our clothes, but what does that mean and how does that affect us? Why should we choose ethical clothing?
Cat & Dogma believes in prosperity for both the planet and humankind. Therefore, we have searched the globe for the best quality organic cotton at a fair price. From the planting of the seed through cultivation, ginning, spinning, weaving, and sewing, we care for the well-being of the factory workers and the farmers who grow our organic cotton.
In fact, our entire supply chain is certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard—the worldwide leading textile processing certification for organic fibers—to ensure that our organic cotton provides a fair livelihood for more than 1,000 people. By taking these steps, our products live up to a high ethical standard and make the outfits your children wear extra special.
What Is Fair Labor?
Fair labor, or ethical trade, is all about making a conscious choice for a better world. It involves producers, companies, shoppers, advocates, and organizations prioritizing people and our natural environment. These practices entail recognizing that buying and selling products is connected to the livelihoods of others, such as supporting responsible companies; empowering farmers and factory workers; and protecting the environment. Ultimately, ethical clothing is about demanding higher ideals for everyone—from the farmer who picks the cotton to the baby who snuggles in the adorable romper.
Fair labor protects the standard of life for farmers and factory workers, and their families. It ensures that they are paid a reasonable wage and work in an environment that is healthy and safe. The codes can also regulate child and forced labor, childcare for mothers, safe working conditions, water conservation, and proper waste disposal. Without these guidelines, low wages can lead to unmanageable living situations, children missing school days, women facing discrimination with no protection, and volatility of the farming industry.
The Global Organic Textile Standard includes both social and ecological criteria such as:
- Employment is freely chosen (no forced labor)
- Working conditions are safe and hygienic, follow Occupational Safety and Health standards
- Child labor must not be used
- Living wages are paid
- Working hours are not excessive
- No discrimination is practiced
- Regular employment is provided
- Harsh or inhumane treatment is prohibited
Why It Matters
When you decide to purchase ethical clothing made in a way that meets these fair labor practices, you are paying it forward and improving the world. For example, you are helping to protect and empowerwomen. The fashion industry disproportionately involves young women in developing countries. Our clothes are mainly sewn by these women who deserve to be treated with respect and paid a fair wage for their work. By choosing ethical clothing, we are also helping to boost an entire community by providing a workplace that they enjoy going to everyday. Also, the sustainable income they receive will be based on a local living wage, which means they will be able to afford a standard of living including food, water, housing, healthcare, education, clothing, transportation, and other essentials. Over time, they will be empowered to invest back into their own community, such as to ensure clean water in their town, build businesses, and develop better education programs. This ultimately leads to a healthier, happier community with a brighter future.
In addition, fair labor standards help protect the environment for future generations. Because of the established guidelines, dangerous chemicals are prohibited, better land management practices are put into place, and the indoor air quality is kept safe for workers. The companies also try to minimize waste, use raw materials from sustainably managed sources, and reduce energy consumption to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
And, of course, when you purchase ethical clothing from Cat & Dogma, you will be helping to protect children from being forced into working. This aspect alone provides a true connection between our children and children half way around the world. By choosing ethical clothing for our little ones, we are keeping other children safe and allowing them to just be kids and enjoy their childhood.