November '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 5 N O V E M B E R P R I N T W E A R || 37 United States is the only retail commodity that has gone down in price for twenty years running, so we have all been guilty of sup- porting brands and apparel companies that do not place production in certified inspect- ed factories, whether we know it or not. Instead of blaming fast fashion for the scourge of bad factories in today's gar- ment industry, we should start asking for certified inspected factory production for our apparel. Some common institutes that help monitor the working conditions in factories include: • W.R.A.P.—Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production. • The Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety. • The Accord of Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. Remember, like in life, you get what you pay for. A garment factory that cuts cor- ners to save money to produce cheap ap- parel at cheap prices probably doesn't hold a lot of credence for the well being of their workforce or the environment. FAST FASHION AND WHOLESALE With more and more of a trickle down retail influence in the decorated apparel market, it stands to reason that the same issues will become increasingly prevalent on the wholesale side as well. Fortunate- ly, the problems evident in retail apparel have yet to make a noticeable mark on our business. However, this is not to say that it shouldn't be a top of mind consideration when choosing blanks. Talk with your supplier to determine where goods are manufactured and do your research. We can all play a part in improv- ing the conditions of the workers that make our goods, and can even do so while buying affordable apparel. Simply make smart deci- sions and pass the info on to clients to help support a stronger global market. around and never ending demand for disposable apparel throughout the global sourcing cycle has created unsafe working conditions, environmentally unfriendly practices, and human suffering. This is not true. In full. The reason we cannot peg the unsafe factories (that we often hear about on the news on the fast fashion companies and their buyers with an appetite for quicker deliveries and cheaper costs), is because these factories existed long before fast fashion came calling. For instance, the catastrophic Tazreen Garment factory fire in November of 2012 and the Rana Plaza Factory collapse in April of 2013, where more than 1,200 workers lost their lives in Bangladesh, had no relation to fast fash- ion. The bad factories will always exist where quick money can be made. Apparel in the

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