Hello fellow geeks,
Recently there has been a huge increase of 'Fast Fashion' brands that have become very popular due to their low costs. The fast paced fashion industry and increased turnover of styles to keep churning money out of the public is harmful to our beautiful planet.
But what is it all about?
“Fast fashion is the term used to describe clothing designs that move quickly from the catwalk to stores to meet new trends. The collections are often based on designs presented at Fashion Week events. Fast fashion allows mainstream consumers to purchase trendy clothing at an affordable price.” 
On the other hand there have been a lot of activists against this 'throw-away' attitude - and we're proud to say that we are amongst of them! And here's why... With Christmas at the forefront of peoples minds and they are off out shopping for gifts for their nearest and dearest, we thought we'd chip in our two cents as we believe that this is also important for gifts and homeware products.
Since this issue has started appearing more on social media we've been looking online at some of the conditions that factory workers abroad have to cope with and the way they are forced to live. Believe us, we are so lucky! However, in recent news, this is now becoming part of the UK, with people living in storage containers across the country.
After a popular fashion brand's factory collapsed (pictured)  in Bangladesh in 2013 and factory workers sending messages to shoppers via stitching them into clothing labels, we can no longer ignore this. It's absolutely baffling that people can continue to use these types of chains knowing that this is normal practice. Ask yourself, could you live in a tiny crate along with all your belongings? Prepare food literally next to a toilet? Could you work 20 hour days, 7 days a week for pennies? Instead of saying, "Wow! This tshirt is only £2!" Ask yourself why is that tshirt only £2?
Due to all this going on, we have also done our research into our own suppliers and looked at their Ethical Commitment statements. Here's what one had to say:
“SEDEX - ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP
SEDEX is an organisation which aims to improve working conditions, business practices and environmental policies in factories across the world. Our factories are audited to our own strict auditing procedures and also to ETI (Ethical Trade Initiative) Standards.
We work to these ethical guidelines, taken from the ILO (International Labour Organization) for both UK and global team members:
+ Paladone are committed to improving the lives and basic conditions of workers and their families within our Global Supply Chain.
+ We commit to working in partnership with the factory owners who produce and supply our products to ensure that local and international law is upheld.
+ We aim to (through a policy of continuous improvement) ensure that our suppliers strive to observe the basic code as laid out below.
+ Employment is freely chosen - prison and forced labour is prohibited.
+ Working hours are not excessive.
+ Living wages should be paid.
+ Working conditions are safe and hygienic.
+ Child labour is prohibited.
+ Discrimination is prohibited.
+ Employees should have freedom of association and collective bargaining.
+ Harassment, abuse and inhumane treatment are prohibited.” 
It's amazing to hear that our suppliers are looking after every member of staff in all aspects of the manufacture process; from designers, factory workers, sales teams and reps, in addition to you and me (their customers) and also the planet. They have also started introducing alternative materials such as bamboo, rice husk, metal and biodegradable plastic, that will breakdown over time instead of going to landfill which will remain after we're long gone.
“BDP - BIODEGRADABLE PLASTIC
Paladone were the first company in the world to bring naturally decomposing plastic to the global gift trade by launching a range of giftware using Breakdown Plastic™ technology.” 
“PALADONE USE PET RATHER THAN PVC IN OUR PACKAGING
PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) is a plastic and degrades slowly, its manufacturing process can be harmful to the environment through Co2 emissions. However many modern day items are made from PVC and in its final state it is very durable.” 
We are trying to do our bit too! We made the switch to using biodegradable plastic bags both in store and for online orders a few months ago.
People often make comments about the prices in store, but be assured that you have supported a local business, which is so important with the state of the retail crisis at the moment. You have supported an ethical company. You have supported a factory where the working hours are not excessive and for a fair living wage. You have supported a real person, just like yourself.
Simply not thinking about it, hiding from it and making excuses to justify doesn't make it any less true. This is happening and will continue to do so if we carry on pleading ignorance to the evidence around us. We need to change our mindsets before it is too late - but it already is for some who have lost their lives.
In a personal statement on Facebook that I shared with friends along with photos of people living in literal cages I posted the following:
“For those of you who don't understand why I bash multi-billion pound companies THIS is why. THIS is what you are supporting. People living in literal boxes and cages among all their belongings. Having to prepare food LITERALLY next to a toilet. Being so desperate that you sew 'SOS' 'HELP' or 'FORCED TO WORK LONG HOURS' into the linings and labels of the clothes they make hoping that someone ANYONE will find it! Please STOP lining their pockets when they treat their workers this way, while they keep getting richer and richer. The next time you pick up that £3 jumper ask yourself, could you live like this? Is it worth it?”
This post got a measly 2 reactions. So I am appealing to a wider audience. I am unable to understand why people are ignoring and skirting around the issues and continue to support these multi-billion pound companies when they allow their buildings to collapse and kill their workers. This particular incident resulted in paying £6million in compensation to families of the victims, so they are more than capable to pay fair wages and provide perfect working conditions.
We have included references below with hyperlinks that you can check out for yourselves too.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. It is very important to all of us. Let's change the way the world works and be part of the solution, not the problem.
Please share this message.
Team Geek x
References  Investopedia
 The Guardian