Creating our garments in the United States is important to us, aligning with our overall vision at Filosofia. This is primarily because factories and suppliers in the USA are held to higher standards: stricter regulation and labor laws lead to better treatment of employees and working conditions. At Filosofia, we want to ensure transparency and mindfulness at every level of the production process. We believe this results in a better experience for everyone, from the creators to the eventual wearer.
Working in a garment factory can be a dangerous job
In 2013, an enormous 8-story garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed. It was the deadliest incident of its kind, with over 1,000 workers dead and 2,000 injured. Survivors were found amongst the rubble, many of whom were young women hired to operate sewing machines for long, grueling hours during the day.
This wasn’t the only tragedy to strike apparel factories across the world in recent years. Working in a garment factory is, to this day, a dangerous job. When it isn’t shoddy infrastructure or outdated safety regulations, it is discriminatory practices or sexual harassment. Massive clothing labels have been accused of completely ignoring these widespread problems.
They can’t be ignored much longer. The 2013 factory incident caught the world’s attention — people began noticing the previously innocuous “Made In” tags on the backs of their shirts. Consumers began wondering who had sewn their shirts together; with the increasing exposure of the apparel industry’s ills, shoppers realized it could have been a child or a woman terrified of her violent manager.
What we can do
While stricter regulation might not result in the massive output coming from factories found in China or Bangladesh — where thousands of garments are produced daily — American counterparts are less likely to sacrifice employee well-being (or lives) for the sake of production quotas. Because of these legal precedents, there is an existing safeguard against abuse. And when abuse does happen, it doesn’t go completely unnoticed or normalized.
Undoubtedly, there can still be improvements made in factories in the USA. We won’t ignore the existing issues in apparel factories found on American soil as well.
But when based in the USA, we have a powerful ability to physically visit a factory, meeting the workers face-to-face and seeing the workplace conditions for ourselves. We want to ensure that Filosofia fully represents the ideals that set it apart in the first place. There, we can ask ourselves the real questions: is this an establishment that aligns with our own values as a company? Is this somewhere we can build a long-lasting partnership?
We believe that raising the industry standard can affect important change across the world. Looking into the future, we are proud to be part of an ever-growing movement toward more ethical and sustainable fashion.
Art work by
Sophie Victoria Elliott