“How often do you think about the clothes you’re wearing or its impact on the people who make it?” asked Matt Reynolds, President and Co-Founder of INDIGENOUS, an organic and fair trade fashion company, at a recent eco fashion talk in San Francisco. The gathering was sparked by the recent Bangladesh tragedy where a garment factory collapsed and over 1,100 workers died.
Poor working conditions, minimal environmental regulations, and child and slave labor are commonplace in the $1 trillion garment industry. One way INDIGENOUS is helping to rectify that situation is to create transparency between their consumers and textile workers. Scott Leonard and Matt Reynolds, INDIGENOUS Co-founders, embedded their hang tags with QR (quick response) bar codes, which can be scanned by a smartphone so that consumers can learn where a garment was made, and the social impact the purchase makes on the lives of the workers. “This is nutritional labeling for the fashion industry,” said Shamini Dhana, who moderated the event. Dhana is Founder of Dhana EcoKids, a children’s apparel company that uses 100% certified organic fabric and eco-friendly dyes. “We need to start thinking about people and planet and not just profit,” she added.