According to a new report published by the Walk Free Foundation, “the fashion supply chain funnels more money toward modern slavery than any other industry besides tech.”
As detailed by Fashionista, the report states that “$127.7 billion worth of garments at risk of including modern slavery in their supply chain are imported annually by G20 countries,” who account for 80 percent of global trade.
Those imports, the story says, ”help underwrite a global economy that trapped 40.3 million people in modern slavery in 2016.” Of those 40.3 million, 71 percent (30.5 million) were women, and a large number were children.
And while the concept of modern slavery is aggressively unambiguous, the manners in which it “sneaks” into supply chains isn’t always acute or obvious, and can include things like “children who are lured into coerced factory labor via promises of free education [or] cotton pickers who are kept in debt bondage by their employers.”
What’s more, as the Walk Free Foundation report states, nothing will change unless “citizens and governments everywhere [acknowledge] that we’re all implicated in this mess.”
“Even in developed nations where forced labor may seem unthinkable to the average citizen, consumers are still supporting slavery in a crucial way — through our imports of clothing, tech and other commodities.”
“Too often, the onus of eliminating modern slavery is placed only on the countries where the crime is perpetrated,” the Global Slavery Index website says. “They certainly have a responsibility, but they are not alone in this regard. An atrocity as large and pervasive as modern slavery requires a united, global response.”
You can read more about it at Fashionista.