Behind the Scenes

7 Reasons Why We Ethically Manufacture in the U.S.A.

At This Bangladesh Sweatshop, Children Make Our Clothing for Little to No Pay

Photo by Claudio Montesano Castillas

At Paris Bloom, we make modest dresses that are timelessly beautiful and quality composed. We are equally proud of the production of our dresses as we are of their finished quality.

Many of you told us in our design survey that Ethically Made is one of our most essential Brand Promises to you. We want every person involved in the design and manufacture of our dresses to be treated with dignity and paid a fair wage. Unfortunately, not every brand can say this is true for their products.

Here are 7 reasons why we decided to differentiate Paris Bloom by committing to Ethically Made in the U.S.A.

  1. 1. There is not enough transparency in the apparel industry
  2. 2. Child labor is endemic
  3. 3. Factory conditions are inhumane
  4. 4. Wages are unjust
  5. 5. Manufacturing in the U.S.A. means our workers are paid a fair wage and treated with dignity
  6. 6. We support the growth of U.S.A. businesses and communities
  7. 7. We can better control the quality of manufacturing for our customers

1. There is not enough transparency in the apparel industry

The growth of fast fashion has caused a race to the bottom. Fast fashion is the poor quality clothing manufactured overseas and sold in mass by companies like Forever 21, Walmart, Amazon or cheap online boutiques. You know – the type of pieces that fall apart in the wash.

There is almost always more than a 4x markup on these products, because of all the distribution channels it takes to get them to you. This means the workers who are sewing these products are paid very, very little. In many instances it is less than three U.S. dollars a day.

A growing number of global clothing brands now publish information about the overseas factories that manufacture their products. But even then, reports continue to surface about inhumane conditions in the supply chains of these major retailers. According to a Reuters news report, one Walmart shopper found a letter from a Chinese sweatshop prisoner in her purse.

But even Walmart offers more transparency and auditing measures than many small online retailers of fast fashion. There are online retailers that don’t publish any answers to questions like: who is making their clothing? How much are the workers paid? What are the conditions inside the factories?

2. Child labor is endemic

On average, one child in every seven is a child laborer, according to the UN and the International Labor Organization. Many of these children are involved in the production of clothing for consumers in the U.S., Europe and beyond.

Instead of learning, playing or enjoying a loving home, these children work long hours in often hazardous environments. When they go home, they often return to a slum. This is the price they pay to help their families survive and to support western demands for ever cheaper clothing.

3. Factory conditions are inhumane

It’s been documented that workers in the apparel industry are forced to work long hours, meet grueling production targets, endure exposure to dust, smoke and toxic chemicals and work in dim lighting that damages their eyesight.

Five years ago, a clothing manufacturing facility in Bangladesh, India collapsed due to poor conditions. 1,000 workers died and 2,000 more were injured. Despite that tragedy, thousands of Bangladesh factories still pose a life threatening risk to workers today (CNBC). And as long as low cost is the driving demand of fast fashion, these conditions aren’t likely to change.

4. Wages are unjust

Global research by the Asia Wage Floor Alliance found that for an average item of clothing “only between 0.5% to 3% of the cost goes to the worker who made it.”

In fact, The Guardian reported that workers in Myanmar making clothing for brands like H&M were being paid as little as 17 U.S. cents an hour.

5. Manufacturing in the U.S.A. means our workers are paid a fair wage and treated with dignity

We’re excited to share more information with you about our manufacturing facility, and its standards and practices. Please watch for this information as we approach our August 2019 launch.

6. We support the growth of U.S.A. businesses and communities

Today only three percent of apparel bought by U.S. consumers is made in the U.S.A. (Industry Week). But U.S. apparel manufacturing is starting to recover. It now ranks number six among the industries that have been bringing work back to the U.S. since 2010.

Did you know that eliminating just our apparel trade deficit would reduce the overall U.S. trade deficit by $120 billion per year? That’s about 25 percent of the total! It also would add about 1 million U.S. manufacturing jobs.

You can play an important role in bringing these U.S. jobs home when you own a Paris Bloom dress. From the design to production phase, we help employ professionals like pattern makers, fabric cutters and seamstresses.

Paris Bloom is thrilled that these dedicated workers are able to support their families by making beautiful products in the U.S. to ship around the world.

7. We can better control the quality of manufacturing for our customers

When our modest dresses are cut and sewn here in the U.S., we can regularly visit our factories, observe the production process and constantly communicate our expectations for quality to the manufacturer.

Final Thoughts

We hope this helps you understand why ethically made fashion is so important to Paris Bloom and customers like you. We look forward to sharing many aspects of our manufacturing process with you in the future.

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