A very late entry – I know ! This is all about my thoughts on why I visited the Ethical fashion Source Expo on 6th October in London.
I have been thinking very hard about the social responsibility of my company Minor Edition. Ever since I was a kid, I have been brought up to be compassionate for the less fortunate. Coming from a developing country, poverty and discomfort was not hard to find. Despite a relatively comfortable childhood and adulthood myself, I have come face to face with slums and poverty, the moment I stepped out of my door. I had the opportunity to help the needy and develop a sense of duty towards the unfortunate, during my student life. We moved to Zambia for a few years and poverty and sickness was again not very hard to find. I worked very closely with people suffering from a dreaded disease and was also intensely involved with a children’s charity there.
After coming to the UK a good few years ago, life took a different turn. Those scenes of poverty and suffering are not here and the nature of the hardships here is quite different. In the recent years, I must confess I haven’t done much for any charity other than donating money because a friend is running a marathon or swimming somewhere, raising money by the odd participation in a charity ball or event and selling odd bits again for charity. I have the good intention but the rat race otherwise called daily life has completely taken over. Yes I know, excuses and excuses.. never short of it.
So, now as the owner of a small online dress boutique, it is a my opportunity again to do something concrete towards painting the big picture. But I still don’t know exactly how? I have a brain full of ideas and wishes that I have listed below.
I am proud to say that my business is indeed ethical. Even though the company is not making big donations, at least it is not causing any harm or exploiting anyone. There is no child labour and the manufacturer has machinists who are on proper wages and perks. I am glad to say that the people are happy to work in the manufacturing unit.
I am yet to call the company Fairtrade. There are many boxes to tick and even though I would like to achieve the Fairtrade certification, it will take some time. There is hard work in progress though.
Partly yes, but not completely. It is achievable if I am able to raise the total cost. Would that be fair ?
4. Woman Power
I think, for me this is the most important goal I want to achieve out of all this. I want to empower women who are still treated as a second class citizen. I really don’t mean us women who are probably reading this blog sitting comfortably in our homes, but those millions of women out there who are victims of domestic abuse, ill-treatment and even totally illiterate. Yes there are millions like that. Thankfully, there are many good Samaritans who run charities to help these women, to empower them. They are very talented and they use their skills to earn money and are able to look after themselves and their children. I would like to work with an organisation or women’s group who can manufacture dresses based on my designs. I know, that will bring my costs a bit high. As a company who is trying to develop and improve its core values, I would prefer being able to contribute to a good cause, rather than trying to work out the numbers all the time.
Does that makes sense? Well, my search is on … I took a step to attend the ethical expo and it was a very good experience. I will not be the next Bill Gates but at least a miniscule of contribution and a smile on a face would be enough.
If you know an organisation who can help, would you mind contacting me ? You can email me at contact(at)minoredition(dot)co(dot)uk
Thanks for passing by and wish me luck.
.. And oh – I will giveaway a hand painted tote bag after 10th Nov– if you are on Facebook.. Please click here to read the blog post.