Image: AFP/Getty Images
After last year’s tragic Rana Plaza building collapse killing 1,130 people, preceded by the Tazreen factory fire in November of 2012 that claimed 112 lives, we’ve seen retailers and factory owners try to reform the working conditions of the people that make our garments. But the latest report by the Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations and the India Committee of the Netherlands shows that there is still much work to be done when it comes to textile factory workers in the region.
The shocking study reveals slave-like conditions at five textile factories in India’s Tamil Nadu, where over 60 percent of the garment workers are female, many of whom are under the age of 18. The girls interviewed for the piece say they were promised jobs making good money, but once they reached the factories, they were forced to toil 60 hours a week, did not receive contracts and were held hostage in their housing units, forbidden to leave without an escort. They also were not given pay slips, so there isn’t really a record of their wages. This kind of bonded labor is referred to as the “Sumangali Scheme,” which is pretty much a form of modern-day slavery.
K.M. Knitwear, Premier Mills, Best Cotton Mills, Sulochana Cotton Spinning Mills and Super Spinning Mills are all implicated in the report, which notes horrible working conditions and child labor among the offenses. Primark, H&M and C&A have all promised to either sever ties with the mills involved in practices of Sumangali or take action against the mills. H&M has already blacklisted Super Spinning Mills.
It is truly a shame that these workers continue to be exploited in spite of several reports, tragedies and promises from big retailers to reform the system. While change is not going to happen overnight, at this point it seems that we’ve barely even scratched the surface when it comes to addressing the working conditions of those who make the clothes we wear.
IMAGES : COURTESY OF LULULEMON
Last night, we joined the folks at Lululemon at its Meatpacking location to preview the latest from the athletic clothing line. We were stoked to learn that the brand is releasing a limited-edition collection of gear in honor of the TCS New York City Marathon that will take place in November.
“As the daylight creeps away, we’re focusing on lighting up the night with the reflective gear available online and in stores, including the special edition NYC product with the reflective detailing. In addition to our reflective product available to all communities, we wanted to offer technical and beautiful special edition product to all the NYC runners both participating and cheering on the race,” said Lululemon in a statement to us.
The collection features a men’s and women’s sweater with a reflective graphic in the form of a New York City skyline outline. There will also be a signature Inspire Crop Pant available, which also features reflective technology and the New York City skyline detailing along the leg. All three products will be available for purchase on Thursday, October 30 exclusively at New York City locations. We don’t know about you, but this has us wanting to sign up for a marathon (or at least a half), so that we can have a solid excuse to wear this cool gear.
Lululemon Home Stretch Crew, $198, Inspire Crop Pant, $96, visit Lululemon for New York City locations
Vogue Thailand can often be either hit or miss with our forum members, but when the magazine gets it right, we’re head over heels. Meghan Collison stars on the November cover and looks every inch the rare beauty she truly is. The 26-year-old from Canada, who has previously covered Vogue Italia and Vogue Ukraine, gazes down the photographer’s lens with a smoky eye complemented by a nude lip. For dramatic effect, the stylist behind the shoot added a corsage to Meghan’s outfit and our forum members are loving it.
“Probably it’s the corsage that lends to [the] softness and femininity of this cover and not the girl. They could’ve treated the hair a bit more, but this isn’t bad. Vogue Thailand actually doesn’t produce bad covers,” commented Benn98.
“Everything here works, very nice! And I agree, the flower adds a nice softness to it,” raved justaguy.
Everyone seems to be in love with the cover and the comments keep flooding in! “I love it! Reminds me of Mirabella’s Vogue from the 70s. Vogue Thailand may be a bit all over the place with their covers but they consistently feature new models with completely different looks, and I applaud them for that,” enthused Tinsley V.
“It’s really lovely. And Meghan’s eyes look fantastic in this makeup,” complimented a more than satisfied narcyza.
“Wow, I’m not Meghan’s biggest fan but this is amazing coming from her and Vogue Thailand!” posted a surprisingly impressed khyrk.
Also sharing the same sentiments was KateTheGreatest: “It’s really beautiful, I think Meghan looks more soft here than usually.”
Forum member valliaddict simply used the word “divine” to describe Vogue Thailand’s latest offering.
Do you agree? Are you a fan? See inside the thread and share your own opinion with us here.
Being in the fashion industry is like playing a grand, stylish version of musical chairs. But this month it seems that there are more and more people coming and going from publications than usual. This morning, Fashionista reported that Teen Vogue just let go two major members of its staff: Accessories Director Sheena Smith and Senior Fashion Market Editor, Mary Kate Steinmiller, who has been with the magazine for a decade.
Another major fashion person out of a job: André Leon Talley. WWD says that the Zappos Couture editor will no longer be working for the site, as Zappos declined to renew his one-year contract. The shoe e-tailer originally brought ALT on board to bolster its fashion cred and drive traffic as well as sales, but apparently, ALT’s presence did little to help. Tomorrow is allegedly his last day under contract. Luckily for Talley, he’s got other projects he’s working on. “I needed this much-valued freedom to explore new and exciting opportunities, and I am glad to be in talks with an exciting new venture, for my life, which I hope to be able to expand upon very soon.”
Also going through major changes is Time, Inc. – InStyle magazine to be exact. Word on the street is that the ladymag has laid off four top editors, a photo editor, social media editor and art director. WWD says that the layoffs were done in order to make way for five new staff positions the magazine is hiring for. This morning, a rep for InStyle confirmed to us that the magazine is looking to “accelerate the integration of print and digital,” which is why so many people were let go. Of course, they could not disclose exactly who was laid off, but we’re sure time will tell once more details surface.
[via WWD, Fashionista]
Nicolas Ghesquière has been at Louis Vuitton for about a year, and has garnered plenty of praise for his work so far. For Fall 2014, the designer tapped three photographers to shoot his debut campaign for the label: Juergen Teller, Annie Leibovitz and Bruce Weber. Three photographers with three different styles and points of view. Yet somehow, the designer was able to cobble together a cohesive campaign. But as he tells WWD, he tapped the trio of shutterbugs to lens the advertisements not because he couldn’t decide who he wanted to use, but because he wanted to show that the Louis Vuitton brand can reflect the diversity and multi-faceted nature of women.
“Each [photographer] has a different expression of it,” Ghesuière told WWD. “[With Leibovitz], it’s more dramatic. Juergen has this reality, this impact that is quite raw and Bruce is much more poetic and has this dimension. It’s the combination that is interesting because these are emotions that every woman has.”
For now, Ghesquière is focusing on keeping the legacy of Vuitton going, rather than creating big-ticket items that sell like hotcakes and fizzle out after a few seasons. “My thought was that when we look at things that are considered ‘Grande Classiques,’ as we say in French — iconic classics that almost everyone wants — we sometimes forget that they were new one day,” he said. “They were totally innovative and might sometimes be shocking to some people, but with time, they become classics. Every item doesn’t become that but the challenge for the designer is to look for those things that are so consistent that they can stand [the test of] time even if they are surprising and new at the beginning. That was the concept.”
The British Fashion Awards are fast approaching and the U.K. has the most important issue to vote on since Scottish independence. We’re talking, of course, about the British Style Award, which determines Britain’s best-dressed person. Crucial stuff!
On the shortlist for the nominations is newly-minted style star Amal Clooney, who is up for the prize against Jourdan Dunn, Cara Delevingne, Kate Moss, FKA twigs, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Emma Watson, Rita Ora and Kate Bush. Yep, Kate Middleton is, for the first time in a while, not in the running to be “Britain’s Next Top Style Star.” She has been asked to pack her things and return to Buckingham Palace.
For the fellas, it’s Idris Elba, Douglas Booth, David Gandy, David Beckham, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ralph Fiennes, Jamie Hince, Bobby Gillespie, Tinie Tempah and Daniel Sturridge.
You’ll find out which stylish celeb takes top honors when the BFAs go down on December 1. Registered users of the British Fashion Awards website can now vote on their faves, but only have until November 5 to do so. It seems that men and women are being grouped in the same category, so choose wisely from these 20 worthy contenders.