How to find out if your clothes were ethically made

January 29, 2020

How to find out if your clothes were ethically made

Sustainable fashion is all over the news at the moment and a huge spotlight is on the high street retailers we've probably all bought from at some point in time.

It's a tricky subject as, by the very nature of 'selling stuff' there is always going to be an impact somewhere along the line. It's something we've thought long and hard about here at Honest Riders. 

The very first manufacturer we spoke to we discovered were 'employing' children as young as 7 to make their clothing. Luckily some digging into their practices meant that we were able to give them a big swerve!

Following a few long hours of research, we decided to source our first sweatshirts from Fair Wear certified factories and we haven't looked back since.

This certification is managed by a fantastic 3rd party organisation – the ‘Fair Wear Foundation’ who believe that it is possible to make clothes in a more sustainable way. All factories certified by Fair Wear must pass a comprehensive code of practice which lays out 8 working standards. They ensure that the garment workers are paid fairly, treated fairly and that the factories are safe places to be in.

As a brand, it can be unnerving to produce your garments overseas. In an ideal world, we would produce everything in the UK, but unfortunately the cost is so high that it makes doing so unviable for the majority of UK businesses. By choosing Fair Wear certified manufacturers, we feel completely reassured that we are not going to be funding any unsustainable, inhumane practices.

The Fair Wear Code of Labour is based on Internationally recognised standards which have been set through tripartite negotiation. The core of the code is made up of 8 standards derived from ILO conventions and the UN’s declaration on Human Rights:

  1. Employment is freely chosen
  2. There is no discrimination in employment
  3. No exploitation of child labour
  4. Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining
  5. Payment of living wage
  6. Reasonable hours of work
  7. Safe and healthy working conditions
  8. Legally binding employment relationship

Organisations like the Fair Wear Foundation are vital in helping us bring you the most sustainable clothing we possibly can. If the brand states that their manufacturer is Fair Wear certified, you can feel reassured that you're buying something that has been ethically made.

Do you know where your riding clothes were made? Might be worth digging a little deeper the next time you 'add to cart'...