Fighting Poverty With Fashion

with our industry experts

In the first Masterclass of our UN Sustainable Development Goal series, we address Goal One: "No Poverty" and unpack the role the textile and fashion industry plays in contributing to poverty across the globe, as well as how ethical fashion production and conscious consumerism can alleviate its devastating impact. 

To meet this SDG and "end poverty in all its forms everywhere", our industry must take action in improving wages, well-being, and opportunities for workers, building resilience into the regions that have such an integral role in the global fashion economy. Hear from experts working across a range of charities, business communities, and social enterprises, sharing their first-hand accounts of the positive impact of fair trade partnerships, organic farming methods, and educational programmes, in countries including India, Bangladesh, and Malawi. Learn how to use your business to empower workers and to stamp out poverty through long-term, sustainable practices in fashion production and trade. 

In this Masterclass you will learn:


  • Ethical Certifications Glossary

    with Charlie Bradley Ross
    Summary

    Two of the five factories that collapsed in 2014 were audited by the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI). In their own words, the BSCI was created to “provide companies with a practical and efficient system to improve social compliance in global supply chains.” The audits failed to identify the illegal structural issues that led to the collapse in two BSCI-registered buildings. The fact is, however, BSCI audits do not cover building safety at all. This is why it’s so essential to understand precisely what certifications and standards include.

    To give you a jump start, we’ve put together an incredible downloadable with over 40 of the most recognised standards. Whether you decide to purchase from a certified supplier or become certified yourself, this downloadable will help you to quickly identify the standards and certifications that are right for you.

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  • The Second-Hand Clothing Market and How to Incorporate Upcycled Textiles Into Your Business, with Oxfam

    with Elen Newcombe-Ling
    Summary

    Have you ever wondered how you can begin to incorporate second-hand textiles into your business? Or wondered where all the clothes that get donated to charity shops actually go? 

    In this video, we chat to Elen Newcombe-Ling, Private Sector Partnerships Manager at Oxfam GB, about the second-hand clothing industry. We discover how Oxfam processes all their textile donations, the positive social and environmental impacts of the second-hand market, and how to start to incorporate second-hand textiles into your design business.

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  • How Handweaving Clusters Support Livelihoods And Wellbeing

    with Amit Singha
    Summary

    Handwoven fabrics form an integral part of Indian's rich textile culture and, in Bengal, the tradition is particularly strong with a significant cluster of handloom workers operating to produce everything from fine jacquard saris to khadi fabrics.

    Founder of Anuprerna Artisan Textiles, Amit Singha, joins us to explain how handweaving clusters in East India operate, how they support family life and wellbeing, and why they are a stable form of livelihood for this area of the world.

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  • The Impact Of Fair Trade On Reducing Poverty And Increasing Empowerment

    with Jette Ladiges
    Summary

    The World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) is a global organisation comprising 401 member organisations, all committed to improving the livelihoods of economically marginalised groups. 

    In this Lesson, with Jette Ladiges, Partnerships Manager of the WFTO, we learn what role the organisation plays in reducing poverty, in campaigning for the rights of farmers, workers and SMEs, and in addressing gender equality via their democratic community of member organisations working across the world.

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  • Supportive Solutions To Restore Regional Weaving Practices

    with Dianoshiya Dorothy Clement
    Summary

    Weaver and designer Dianoshiya Dorothy Clement joins us to introduce her work with artisans in the Chennimalai province of the Tamil Nadu region of India. With the population of weavers decreasing due to lack of demand and increase in faster textile production elsewhere, there needs to be sympathetic solutions that will provide the craftspeople with both income and creativity to restore the pride in this profession.

    This is a beautiful explanation of how to work supportively with an artisan community, along with insight into the affects of declining production on poverty levels. The lesson also includes a film from Dianoshiya that gives you a real look at what handloom weavers do. 

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  • Innovative Business Through Textile Re-Use In The Backyard Garment Sector

    with Maveen Pereira
    Summary

    Traidcraft Exchange's research, funded with the help of TRAID, into the informal garment industry in Bangladesh offers an insightful vision of the potential to reduce textile waste and increase creative income for local entrepreneurs in a country where the global ready-made garment sector dominates the economy. In this Lesson, you'll learn more about the backyard garment industry in Bangladesh.

    This is a segment cut from a full interview with Maveen Pereira, Director of Programmes at Traidcraft Exchange. 

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  • How Cotton Farming Creates, Affects and Could Alleviate Poverty

    with Aneel Kumar Ambavaram
    Summary

    In an eye-opening discussion about the current situation of cotton farming and its contribution to poverty cycles among rural communities in India today, Aneel Kumar Ambavaram and Sanne van den Dungen from Grameena Vikas Kendram (GVK Society), share information about the organisation's RESET programme that aims to regenerate the environment, society and economy through textiles. This makes an unmissable lesson for anyone who wants to know how cotton truly figures into the everyday lives of farmers and villages where the fibre originates.

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  • Advocating For Women's Rights In Cotton Farming

    with Maveen Pereira
    Summary

    Traidcraft Exchange's strategy for women's empowerment addresses the fact that women make up a significant part of our global workforce head-on. Here we learn about why women's rights should be advocated for, and why in particular, within the cotton agriculture sector.  

    This is a segment cut from the full interview with Maveen Pereira, Director of Programmes at Traidcraft Exchange. 

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  • Transforming Conditions And Rights For Marginalised Jute Producers

    with Maveen Pereira
    Summary

    As one of the world's longest natural fibres, jute has important applications in manufacturing, from luxury fashion products to road construction, and India's jute industry is one of the largest in the world. Here we learn about the background to the industry, including the labour-intensive process jute workers must carry out to provide the 'golden fibre', with little pay, limited rights and unimaginable conditions.  

    This is a segment cut from a full interview with Maveen Pereira, Director of Programmes at Traidcraft Exchange

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  • Improving Traceability And Transparency For Homeworkers

    with Maveen Pereira
    Summary

    Homeworkers are the backbone of the Indian textile export industry; there are millions who carry out "piecework" from home, contributing to the global textile market from the bottom of complex supply chains. In this Lesson, learn about the hidden workers of fashion: the homeworkers working with zero contracts, no union support or employee benefits, and no regular salary, yet who provide intricate embellishment to our clothing.  

    This is a segment from a full interview with Maveen Pereira, Director of Programmes at Traidcraft Exchange

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  • Market Pricing, Demand and Opportunities For Regenerative Cotton

    with Aneel Kumar Ambavaram
    Summary

    While it is easy to perceive the benefits of regenerative cotton farming for the environment and people, there are still key, practical barriers to overcome to see a wider uptake within the fashion and textiles industry. 

    In this Lesson, we speak to Aneel Kumar Ambavaran and Sanne van den Dungen at Grameena Vikas Kendram (GVK Society), to learn what the challenges and opportunities are for regenerative cotton vs. conventional farming models and why increased transparency is crucial to demonstrate market value for the future of these beautiful crops.

    Thumbnail image from Money Control.

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Interviews


Technical Tutorials


Past Events


Additional links:

Human Development Report 2020 [UNDP]


Follow on Masterclasses:

Ethical Fabrics And Why We Need To Use Them

Reshoring: Local Manufacturing And Raw Materials

How To Manufacture Products Responsibly


Additional Reading