I always have mixed feelings about major brands offering fair-trade collections. The fact that they offer any fair-trade or organic pieces at all shows that they have knowledge of the lack of fairness in their current supply chain + that they know how to access fair labor + materials. These pieces point out with such extreme clarity the fact that these brand continue to choose extremely problematic sourcing for the vast majority of their offerings.
There is an argument to be made, however, for supporting the fair-trade pieces that these brands offer. I see these dabblings in the fair-trade market as experiments they are doing to see what customers want. What sort of message would it send to the powers that be, if a fair-trade collection sold out quickly + the sales of the non-fair-trade pieces plummeted?
I recently noticed that there is again a search tab for "fair-trade certified pieces" on the Madewell site (under clothing + then under featured shops). I'm not sure how many here are at all interested in Madewell anyway...and I do not ever want to move anyone toward anything other than conscious consumption. I do, however, want to offer the thought that I believe Madewell is monitoring clicks on that link. Their collection of fair-trade pieces has grown + their further transition toward fair-trade would be a big win for so many garment workers!
I just thought I'd leave that here, in case anyone wants to join me in sending a message. :)
And just to clarify...a few ways to apply the fairdare in regards to big brands:
- wear what you already have
- look for secondhand pieces locally + on sites like poshmark, thredup + depop
- use them as inspiration for creating looks with pieces from your own closet
- click that fair-trade link to peruse only fair-trade pieces on their websites (+ send them a message)
- if looking to purchase from fair-trade collections, look also for natural fibers
- write them + encourage moves toward fair labor + materials
All lovely photos feature fair-trade pieces made from natural materials via Madewell.