Making Ethical and Empowering Clothing
When you buy a shirt from us, FRANNIE + LILO, you know the person who made your shirt isn't risking their life coming into work. You know they are being paid a fair wage. You know they won't be intimidated or threatened if they want to form a union. You know they have access to proper fire exits and fire extinguishers. You know the doors and windows aren't locked from the outside. You know the building where they work won't collapse or burn to the ground while they're inside.
When I visit our factory, I am reminded of the workers in another factory who didn't have those privileges. That factory is Rana Plaza in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The people there were making cheap clothes for Canadians, kids clothes, in fact. As a parent, you should care about this next part. On April 24, 2013, their factory collapsed and killed the 11-hundred people who worked there.
Rana Plaza Factory Collapse on April 24, 2013
I was there in the months and weeks that followed this tragedy, working as a journalist. I met with the victims' families and the survivors. I saw how their lives were forever changed by greed. I visited the mass grave that their factory had become. I inhaled the unmistakable smell of death as I climbed over the pile of twisted rebar and crumbled concrete that had once been a 9 story building. And I never looked at a shirt the same way ever again.
This tragedy could have been avoided. When you buy a $10 t-shirt, you're supporting something called Fast Fashion. It's a disposable culture of clothing that often places more value on the price of a shirt than the life of the person who made that shirt. Avoiding clothing that is made in places like Bangladesh is not the answer. But knowing exactly where your clothing is made, who makes it, and how they're treated, that's the answer.
Visiting Our Sewing Factory in Toronto
This is our factory in Toronto where our shirts are sewn. When I visit our factories and meet the people who work there, I am proud. When you wear a FRANNIE + LILO shirt, you should be too. Please watch my International Emmy award-winning documentary (below) to learn more about the Rana Plaza factory collapse and Canada's role in the Fast Fashion industry.
"Made in Bangladesh" International Emmy Award-Winning Documentary