February 20, 2020
Authored by: BCLP, John Kindschuh, Nicole Bigby and Merrit Jones
The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has allocated $22 million to target the growing issue of abusive labor practices in the fashion industry, and specifically, to combat the use of child and forced labor in supply chains, especially in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
Clothing production is booming. In fact, according to a report by sustainability consultant McKinsey & Company, clothing production doubled from 2000 to 2014. The global market now produces more than 100 billion garments a year, according to a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. At the same time, driven by “fast fashion,” the amount of wear we get from clothes has dropped by 36 percent, with almost 65 percent of all garments ending up in a landfill or being incinerated.
With more clothing being produced, production supply chains have already become a concern, raising concerns for the potential of forced labor, human trafficking,