Defending Slave Labour
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How Some People Defend Sweatshops – And Why It’s Not Good Enough

Surprising thought it may sound, there are many people who set out to defend the practice of sweatshop use in developing countries. And these are not stupid people, either – neither are they uninformed. In many cases, it is academics, particularly economists, that write or speak in defence of sweatshops.

The Argument

Their main argument is this. Although the conditions in sweatshops, and the day-to-day life of a worker seem appalling to us, it is often the best option. For people who desperately need money, this is the best thing that can happen to them. It can often be an improvement to their lives. The people who choose to work in sweatshops are doing so because they believe that this job is the best alternative available to them, even when the pay is low and the job is dangerous. In this way, people who call for the destruction of sweatshops could be denying desperate people a mere chance at having daily meals, or sending their kids to school.

The Counter-Argument

However, I would argue that it is a crime that so many people feel that they have no option but to involve themselves in such awful practices. For me, the fact that they are choosing to do this is even more scary. I think that we have a responsibility to help these people. Closing down the sweatshops takes the situation from very bad back to very very bad, granted. But it is too often that people act as if using sweatshops is the only way to engage third world workers.

In my opinion, its just not good enough. We know what it takes to make a clean and safe working space. We know how much we need to pay workers so that they can have a good standard of living. And it isn’t hard. Yes, it would be more expensive to pay workers more, give them breaks, and maintain a good space. But when will people realise that sky-high profit is not as important that people’s basic needs? Glass Clothing proves that you can have a working fashion label without sweatshops or exploitation. Anything else is just a trade-off, workers necessities for CEO’s profits.

We hold ourselves accountable for workers’ well being in the West. A difference of a few thousand miles should not change how we think people deserve to be treated. When we employ workers, we become responsible for their working environments. We cannot let people on our watch suffer, even if it is better than the alternative. It is our duty to provide them with an acceptable and appropriate pay and standard of working, just as we would do for our workers at home.

No excuses. People > profit. Always.

Why Do Companies Use Slave Labour?
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Why Do People Use Sweatshops? New Blog Series

Over the next few weeks, Glass Clothing aims to answer the question of Why People Use Sweatshops. We will be doing this over a series of blog posts. These will be released every Wednesday.

The idea for this arose because it is difficult to understand why people would choose to exploit others. However, we believe it is important to understand the motivations for doing this, so that we can tackle them effectively. Know your enemy, as they say.

We will come at the question from a variety of angles. This includes the history, politics, and economics behind slave labor, as well as how some people attempt to defend its use.

Additionally, we are excited to introduce some new names and faces to our journalistic team, who will be playing a major part in this series.

  • Jemima Lane will be writing about The Economics of Slave Labour
  • Alexia Chrysostomou will be writing about The History of Slave Labour
  • Madeleine Ferris will be writing about The Politics of Slave Labour.

Also, I will be writing about The Ethics of Slave Labour.

This series will last several weeks, and its aim is to expose you to the origins of slave labour, in order for you to better understand how to combat it.

I hope you enjoy!

Glass Clothing Photoshoot
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Our Latest Photoshoot

Here are some of the best pics from our most recent photo shoot with amazing photographer Bella Taleghani! Bella has been taking photos with us since we launched as an ethical brand in 2017. She does an amazing job of capturing the life and vibrancy that we want to become synonymous with Glass Clothing.

Glass Clothing Photoshoot Glass Clothing Photoshoot Glass Clothing Photoshoot

Glass Clothing Photoshoot Glass Clothing Photoshoot Glass Clothing Photoshoot

Models:

  • Leah Lockwood
  • Orlaith Lindsay
  • Safiya Lim
  • Honi Pein, CEO

The photo shoot was SO much fun, with both the models and the photographer having a great time in Islington. We were lucky enough to have some lovely hipster coffee from the Coffee Works Project, who very nicely let us use their garden for our shoot. We followed this up with some burrito bowls and an ill prepared bus journey, where we thought we were going in one direction but were in fact going in the complete opposite. Once we realised, we had already travelled for 40 minutes into goodness knows where in the centre of London. Once we had figured out what had happened and where we were, we had to spend another 40 minutes waiting for the train to take us in the right direction. It was raining and we were annoyed, but in the end it was all quite funny.

As per our values and ethos as an ethical brand, our models are from all different ethnic backgrounds, from Chinese and Pakistani to Irish and Mauritian. Also, they represent sizes from Small to Large. Diversity is super important to us, as we want to show everyone that they have a place with us. Additionally, we believe that every body type and race deserves to be valued and celebrated. As of yet, we are no where near the level of inclusivity that we aspire to. As part of our New Year’s Resolutions, we have pledged to keep including and celebrating a more and more diverse range of beautiful people.

See more photos like this on our Instagram:

@glassclothing_

 

CCP Teen Parcel
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Collaboration With Cancer Care Parcel

Glass Clothing has launched a collaboration with Cancer Care Parcel (cancercareparcel.co.uk). Cancer Care Parcel (CCP) is a company which provides appropriate gifts for people with cancer. Everyone at both Glass Clothing and CCP are very excited about this collaboration.

Who Cancer Care Parcel Are

CCP was started by Dr Shara Cohen, a cancer survivor. During her battle with breast cancer, she realised that many people didn’t know what gifts to give to people affected by cancer and its treatment. Most people wanted to give something that would be useful and helpful but did not understand the illness themselves enough to do so. So, Shara started CCP, offering caring friends and family the opportunity to provide appropriate gifts for sufferers, carers and their families. Some parcels include items which help with the symptoms of cancer treatment, but also things to just help people relax. This helps them take their mind off treatment, which can be very overwhelming.

Other Work

CCP also donates to charities such as RareCareUK. Furthermore, they help with the charities’ awareness campaigns. Additionally, they write and source articles from the cancer community to benefit those affected by the illness. Now, they are pleased to be involved with an ethical fashion brand.

How Glass Clothing Became Involved

As part of fulfilling our New Year’s Resolutions to become involved in charitable and community projects, our Flower Straight Leg Cotton Trousers are now featured as part of the Teenage Parcel, for teens affected by cancer. Since the trousers are made from cotton, the skin is allowed to breathe. Also, the loose style allows patients to be comfortable, but still feel like they look good!

Honi Pein, CEO of Glass Clothing, is very excited about this partnership. She said,

‘I am so pleased that Glass Clothing is now going to play a part in making people’s cancer journey’s easier. I hope that with the trousers they can feel as if they still look amazing and feel confident even when in a hospital bed, as this is the feeling we want to bring into the world with our trousers. Also, like other owners of our ethical fashion items, they can feel guilt free!’

The Teenage Parcel is available to buy now.

2018 Goals
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Glass Clothing’s New Years Goals for 2018

New year, new us! 2018 is now upon us, and we’ve come up with two key goals that we want to achieve this year as a young, ethical clothing company.

More Inclusive

We pride ourselves on being a Brand of the Future. Primarily, this consists of getting young people active and involved in our brand, and us tackling social issues together. A big part of this is inclusivity and body positivity. It’s always been a big part of our ethos and identity to have confidence, happiness and vibrancy to represent our brand, rather than any specific way of looking. We do not agree with the media’s unrelenting obsession with unrealistic body types, as this is an unhealthy image for many young girls to aspire to. In 2017, we included models who fit our sizes small, medium, and large, from UK sizes 6-14 (est.). However, in 2018, we want to go even further, as the average woman in Britain is reportedly a size 16. We want every woman to feel included in our brand. Because of this, the next time we place an order to our tailors, we will extend our size range up into XL and XXL. Following this, we will be able to use models of even more diverse body types.

Giving Back

In 2018 we aim to give back to the community. This means getting involved with charities, donating money and products and creating lasting partnerships. It’s really important to us, as an ethical brand, to make a positive difference in the world. Our team is currently brainstorming different ideas related to this, and we have shortlisted several very worthwhile charities which we could pledge to support. Additionally, there are many different ways in which we can support them. One idea is to create a trouser design from which all profits would go to charity. In accordance with our key value of transparency, we would, of course, provide details of exactly where the money ends up and how it helps people. Whichever idea we choose, it’s our aim to have it in place by the end of 2018.

Three Months of Glass Clothing
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Three Months Of Glass Clothing

It’s Glass Clothing’s three month anniversary! Yay!

Our ethical clothing brand is now three months old, and boy have we come far during that time!

Not only have we managed to source and work with amazing tailors in Lahore, Pakistan, we’ve provided their basic information, which we believe every one of our customers should have access to, right here on this website.

We’ve already got four stunning trouser designs, two Silky Flares and two Cotton Straight Leg Trousers, ready to buy now, for delivery or collection from two different locations.

Our pre-order sale was extremely successful, with the Purple Silky Flared Trousers almost going out of stock!!

Youth Involvement

In accordance with our identity as a young ethical fashion brand, we have already involved over 15 young people (17 years old or younger) in the creative and promotional side of the brand. This is amazing, as everyone who has worked with us has so many ideas and so much energy to offer. They are a big part of the reason why Glass Clothing has grown so quickly as an ethical brand in such a short space of time.

A large part of this was in the photos. We’ve had super fun photoshoots and taken some really awesome pictures. Because of this, our brand’s image has begun to visually reflect our ethos. We’ve made sure that confidence, happiness and vibrancy represent our brand.

Special thanks go to:

Photographer: Bella Taleghani

Models:

  • Hannah Gottlieb
  • Jemima Lane
  • Lissy Wynn
  • Anna Rafice
  • Ilana Cantor
  • Phoebe Head

Social Media

We have a wide social media presence, operating on over five major social media platforms. These are Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Our combined following over all of these accounts amounts to around 400, in only three months! Similarly, this is thanks to everyone who has shouted us out on social media, this is a massive help every time and is greatly appreciated.

Thank you to Maria Gkoutzini, Megan Tang, Imogen Woods-Wilford, and Madeleine Ferris for submitting pictures for our social media accounts. Also thanks to Talia Raz and everyone else who gave us a shout out! <3


We’ve got SO MUCH planned for the next few months… But for now, thank you for supporting us this far! 🙂 x

International Shipping
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International Shipping Launch

Since its launch in October 2017, Glass Clothing has been a UK-only ethical clothing company. Although we source materials and produce clothes in Lahore, Pakistan, all of our company staff have been based in London. Because of this, so far our delivery options have only extended to locations within the UK. However, due to increased interest from people living in the USA and Europe, Glass Clothing has now launched international shipping! Now, over 200 countries can have access to our ethical fashion items. Yay!

Our Ethos

As well as catering to interest from abroad, this change is also in keeping with our international mindset and global values, which we consider very important. Part of Glass Clothing’s ethos is to have a global positive influence, helping and benefiting people across the globe. We believe that everyone should have access to fairly made clothes, and crucial information about all of the people who are involved in making and producing them. Now, Glass Clothing can provide this on a much broader scale.

Costing

Our prices are consistent with the standard UK Royal Mail service.

How To Access International Shipping

First, find the ethical clothing item you would like purchase, whether its a Silky Flared Trouser or a Cotton Straight Leg Trouser, and press the Add to Cart button. Then, click on the shopping basket icon in the top-right-hand corner of the window. This will take you to your basket. The Geo-location tool on the website will automatically show you the correct pricing options for your area. There are two options – Standard Shipping and Tracked Shipping – for you to choose from.

Click here to start shopping!

Slave Labour
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How We Started

Glass Clothing, an ethical clothing company, was founded in 2017 by Honi Pein, aged 16. She set it up in order to solve a very disturbing problem that she had come across in the clothing industry.

Slave Labour

It all started when, for a school competition, she had to research and give a short speech on a subject that interested her. After thinking about it for a while, she decided to look into the topic of sweatshops and child labour. She had expected to find one or two brands which used slave labour. However, this was not what she found. She said,

‘I was deeply disturbed to discover that it was nearly impossible to find any information about who made the clothes, and how they were treated. This meant that the workers are essentially invisible, as are the crimes of the institutions. Discovering this scared me and broke my heart’

She had not heard anything about this ethical problem before deciding to go out and research it. As a result of this, Honi assumed that no one cared about ethical fashion. But, having reached the final round of the competition, and seeing the reactions of the audience when she delivered the speech detailing her findings, she began to realise that she was not the only person who was shocked and moved by the lack of ethical fashion brands. In fact, the real problem was simply that people didn’t know about it.

Expression through Art

For a long time, this played on her mind. She was plagued by the idea that, as she bought clothes from the same mainstream brands as most, she was most likely wearing the products of slaves or children. Tormented by this, Honi expressed herself through art.

Saving The Children

‘Saving The Children’ – On display in the ‘Art of Revolution’ exhibition in Norwich

The caption next to the piece reads:

‘This piece criticises Western ignorance. We would all give to a collection box on the street, thinking that we are kind and good, yet on our bodies we bear the labour of children and grossly underpaid workers in sweatshops in the third world. We wear the problem, as we flippantly throw money at charities, under the thinly veiled illusion that we are having an overall positive effect. This system is so engrained in our capitalist society that it is difficult to see a way out of it. Awareness if the first step towards revolution’

The aim of the piece was simple: to expose people to themselves. Honi knew that everyone who would see the piece would be guilty of being the person on the right.

Taking Action

But she wanted to do more. She didn’t want to be the person on the right. The only solution was to start her own ethical clothing company, one based on principles of fairness and transparency. It was to be as transparent as glass. She said,

‘The idea is that I will have a direct relationship with the tailors, making sure that they are treated well. But crucially, everyone will be able to know who makes their clothes, and where they come from’

From this, Glass Clothing was born.

 

WHO WE ARE NOW