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What's The Deal With Fast Fashion

A message from our Founder:

When I learned about human trafficking, the first most practical step I took was finding out where my clothes, chocolate and coffee came from. It was a small but crucial action toward becoming a more conscious and informed consumer. Exploitation is everywhere in our global supply chains but over the years I have seen how as consumers we have the power to demand better, more ethical business. Over the next three weeks we will send an email about different fast fashion brands, their practices, and what some alternatives are. Please let us know if there is a brand you want to learn more about!

Filthy Practices

A recent article by the Daily Maverick detailed how international e-commerce giants, like Shein, are undercutting our local South African retailers. Albeit imperfect, groups like Take-a-lot & TFG are feeling the implications of cheap clothing being pumped into the country, not to mention all the local, slow made retailers who are trying to redeem our fashion industry.

Research revealed that Shein drops an average of 6,000 new styles a day. Yep: 6,000. And where do most of those clothes end up after being worn (maybe) once? Well, they end up in landfills, rivers and other dumpsites in the Global South in countries like Kenya & Tanzania.

And to make matters worse, not only does Shein & the fast fashion industry destroy the environment, it is also a hot bed for labor exploitation. It has been reported that garment workers are paid as little as 71 cents in Rand (or 4 cents in Dollars) per piece while also working 18 hour days. According to Good on You, Shein is pretty much the worst!

  • Shein received a score of 0-10% in the 2022 Fashion Transparency Index.

  • There’s no evidence it provides financial security to its suppliers, which can result in poor working conditions and wages.

  • There’s no evidence it supports diversity and inclusion in its supply chain.

  • There’s no evidence it ensures workers are paid living wages in its supply chain.

We Can Do Better!

And we know you want to because you care! At Not I But We, we are honestly proud to say we cannot compete with Shein offering a set of 4 black scrunchies for R16 because that doesn't even cover our labour cost for the exact same product.

But you know what, we can proudly offer you one black scrunchy for R30 because it was:

  • Made with a living wage

  • Created economic opportunities for survivors of trafficking

  • Was made with dead stock fabric that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill

  • Is import duties free and supports the local economy.

PS: Remember to tell us what big name brands ethics you want to know more about.

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