And so the challenge begins ….
The biggest problem has been trying to decide on 6 items of clothing that will be useful for all occasions for the 6 weeks of Lent. The next problem will be making sure they are kept clean, the washing machine is going to be putting in some extra shifts!
Yet my dilemma over which clothes to choose pales into insignificance when you spend time thinking about the way in which our clothes are manufactured. For many people, fashion is very important and keeping up with the latest trends plays a significant part in their lives. This impacts upon those workers who produce the garments in countries like Bangladesh where wages are often below the Living wage and Health and Safety standards are poor.
According to a report from War on Want, the majority of garment workers in Bangladesh earn little more than the minimum wage, set at 3,000 taka a month (approximately £25), far below what is considered a living wage, calculated at 5,000 taka a month (approximately £45), which would be the minimum required to provide a family with shelter, food and education.
As well as earning a pittance, Bangladeshi factory workers face appalling conditions. Many are forced to work 14-16 hours a day seven days a week, with some workers finishing at 3am only to start again the same morning at 7.30am. On top of this, workers face unsafe, cramped and hazardous conditions which often lead to work injuries and factory fires. Since 1990, more than 400 workers have died and several thousand more have been wounded in 50 major factory fires. Sexual harassment and discrimination is widespread and many women workers have reported that the right to maternity leave is not upheld by employers.
Labour behind the label campaigns for the rights of those workers. Each pound raised pushes them closer to acheiving the goals of improving workers’ rights and conditions worldwide.
Can you help by giving even a small amount to Labour behind the Label? Please see my fundraising page http://www.everydayhero.co.uk/julie_morton. You could sponsor me to wear a hat/scarf/bright coloured socks for a day!
Thanks for reading this.