Hey friends, this is huge. Ethical lifestyle brand ABLE just did something that no other fashion label has been brave enough, or radical enough to do. They published their lowest manufacturing wages. #MicDrop.
The intention behind this bold move may surprise you. ABLE didn't release this report to set a wage standard for other companies to meet. In fact, they are the first to admit that they aren't perfect, but their goal is to be perfectly transparent, and as ABLE works to increase their lowest living wage, they hope other brands in the space will join them in transparency.
Imagine if every time you tried on a shirt at the mall, you saw a hangtag attached with the brand's lowest manufacturing wage information listed. As Americans, most of us are aware that many of our products are made cheaply overseas, but most consumers don't know the extent of it. Reportedly 98% of fashion industry workers don't earn a living wage, and can't afford to meet basic needs for themselves and their families. A lack of transparency allows big brands to maintain this status quo, and women around the world suffer so that we can buy the latest trends at bargain prices. This has to change.
ABLE sent me their She's Worth More Cuff and asked me to help spread the word about their campaign, and I was excited to do my part to promote it. I'm inspired by their foresight, and I believe that this movement they're leading can make a big difference. Knowledge is power, and as other brands start to follow suit and publish their wages, shoppers will be able to make true educated decisions about their purchases. Once transparency becomes the new normal, offending companies won't be able to hide any longer, and many will be held accountable. We could see manufacturing wages increase across the whole industry as a result, so let the pressure begin...and all the munching popcorn GIFs.
Before ABLE released their wages, they were already one of my favorite #forgood brands to shop from for many reasons. To start, their style is on point. Their clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories are chic and current while still feeling classic. You won't find fast fashion styles that are only wearable for a season, and since their pieces are well-constructed, expect ABLE products to last as long as you take care of them.
As much as I love their style and quality, I'm even more impressed by their their ethics. ABLE's goal is to end generational poverty through providing economic opportunity, and they accomplish this through their work in Ethiopia, Mexico and Peru, as well as in their hometown of Nashville. Ending poverty is an effective way to prevent human trafficking, because poverty makes women and families vulnerable to traffickers. If you know me you know that this is a cause that I will always get behind. At The Tote Project we love promoting fellow brands that share our values, so Fay and I chose to wear several of their pieces in a recent photoshoot. Check out the photos below and head over to ABLE to pick out your favorite, ethically made designs from this transparency trailblazer.
Images by Lace & Lapel Photography
Bracelet provided by ABLE
All opinions are my own