“With the impact of fashion falling so heavily on our environment, I wanted to create a brand that was authentic in its mission and used business as a force for good”
Emily Hilton, Founder, Holiday Romance
In recent news...More than 1 million Bangladesh factory workers who make clothing for retail giants such as Primark and Topshop have been sent home without pay or have lost their jobs after brands cancelled or suspended £2.4bn of existing orders in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic.
“The immediate impact on their families and workers will be devastating”
Mark Amber, Director of the centre for Global Workers Rights.
More than 1,100 factories in Bangladesh are currently closed, 964 million pieces of clothing have been cancelled or suspended during the coronavirus crisis so far, Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association has reported. Association president Rubana Huq pleaded with international buyers to take delivery of completed orders under existing payment terms to protect people who work in the sector.
“We will have 4.1 million workers literally going hungry if we don’t all step up to our commitment to the welfare of the workers. This is a call we all promised to take a long time ago,” Huq warned.
A similar plea from India’s textile minister and the country's apparels export body have called on westernised brands to “do commerce with compassion” and don't cancel orders.
Do commerce with compassion.
The governments of producing companies worldwide are primarily responsible for working conditions. But according to international standards “brands” that order products manufactured in factories also have a responsibility to ensure that the rights of workers are respected throughout the supply chain. They must take measures to prevent and address human rights issues.
The garment industry is still fuelled by the labour of millions of mostly young, female workers who are not paid enough to provide for themselves and their families. One of the issues is the amount of merchandise that is heavily discounted or sold at typical fast fashion prices, this cheap fashion on global platforms has essentially created a race to the bottom and product has become undervalued by the customer. The lack of a living wage in these developing countries means workers don’t have the income necessary to deal with any kind of emergency, like COVID-19, not only because of current cancellations but because of employment conditions pre-crisis - workers have not accumulated any kind of financial buffer.
Though fatal disasters like the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh six years ago have pushed brands to talk about the fair treatment of workers more than ever, many continue to relentlessly squeeze costs at the factory gate.
At Holiday Romance we support the slow fashion movement by delivering the very best product, when it’s available, and not at how we fill floors of department stores. Product needs time to be considered, to be creatively incubated and more time to be produced.
We rarely do sales as discounting promotes hyperconsumption, over-production and waste - we’re already selling our products at the best prices we can. We steer away from transient trends and make everything in limited runs.
We believe the wellbeing of workers in sourcing countries is the responsibility of the entire fashion industry. Taking the time to get to know the people who make our goods, we are proud knowing that our manufacturing team maintains a high standard of ethics and responsibility. Working on this small scale means we can work closely with our team on every item and have control over every part of the process.
Tracy - Machinist, Holiday Romance.
Sally, pattern cutter, Holiday Romance
How can you make a difference?All businesses must make money. But triple bottom line companies realize that they can do more.
Support brands who have social and environmental responsibility as the foundation of their business practices. Support brands that are transparent about their pricing and manufacturing partners.
Do your research and support brands who are committed to a triple bottom line - people, planet and profit.
People - transparency, ethics.
We believe in fair wages and we take steps to ensure humane working conditions for all our employees, contractors and suppliers. Choosing to keep our production close to home means we’re able to support UK manufacturing and give back directly to our community.
“Securing a sustainable future is the defining challenge of our time”
Planet - environmental mission, sustainable sourcing.
We take the ecological footprint of all our products into consideration not just at the point of design and creation but also at the end of the products life cycle. You can return your unwanted swimwear to us and we will continue the regeneration process. Discover more about our sustainability commitments here.
Profit - giving back
It takes a CEO from one of the world’s top five fashion brands just four days to earn the same amount a Bangladeshi garment worker will earn over her lifetime. More and more wealth is concentrated in the hands of an ultra-rich few, while millions below them struggle daily to survive on poverty-level wages. While every business pursues financial profitability, triple bottom line businesses see it as one part of a business plan. At Holiday Romance we pursue financial profitability so we can continue our work in supporting textile innovation - the future. We promise that as we grow, we will continue to be a brand that our customers can trust in delivering the very best product, so we can empower you, our people, to make informed and ultimately better choices.
Holiday Romance Store was founded on the principles of sustainability and is committed to ensuring that the environmental impact of all our products and their production - is, at a minimum, carried out from a neutral impact intention.
Our aim is to help steer, and provide for, those looking to make more natural choices at a time when they're perhaps most receptive - holiday mode.
As consumers we do not think much of the “Made in…” labels sewn in our clothes. Woven in the seams are stories of individuals - mostly women, who cut, stitch the clothes we buy.
Fashion must look beyond a transaction. Sustainability is non-negotiable... because what’s the point in a beautiful bikini, without a beautiful planet?