So much is happening and so much has happened in the last three months, and a lot of it is because of the dilemma of what’s more important to mankind… is it the lives of humans or the survival of businesses? Though one can say that both are intertwined, as there can’t be a living without business survival, the dilemma continues!
In this dilemma, the pandemic has also exposed the hypocrisy of the businesses, which are so much vested in their own survival that they lost sight of what they preach, as well as their bearings!
On one hand, it’s all about sustainability of the planet where each and every company is shouting at the top of their voices to appease their customers of their concerns for the environment, all for the survival of their businesses, but in the process losing sight of concerns for human lives… it’s all about having and putting forward a ‘fair’ face, even if it means forgetting the people behind, who are not their customers.
Can anyone really forget the heart-wrenching stories and pictures we have seen of workers trying to get home or living off of charity? These are the people on whose hard work factories flourish. In the midst of the crisis, it seemed as if they were forgotten in the tussle between the buyer and supplier.
Orders were cancelled, payments delayed, and in some cases, payments stopped… the final result was no money to pay the wages of the poor worker who sits at the bottom of the fashion prism. Even governments gave lip service with no significant support to pay worker wages till the factories were up on their feet.
Did the retailers/brands even think of these poor people? Did their lives and livelihoods not matter to the western buyer?
Irony is embedded in the way one has seen superheroes for ages… where do they exist? Well, you will always find them around Los Angeles or California, for them the world is around one particular area and that is America… as if the there is no other world or even if it does exist, it is quite inconsequential. All villains and calamities fall around Hollywood. Similarly, all sensitivity is for show to people in the US, as they are the people who matter. Even the movement – #BlackLifeMatters is for the American people, but what about people all over the world who are discriminated against now and again for perceived reasons, and what about those who are struggling not only because of racism but also hunger?
In third world countries, these discriminated people are called workers and they produce garments for these very superheroes… those very big and small retailers and brands who so conveniently withdrew themselves from paying wages to the workers who are struggling for a meal a day, whereas these very brands and retailers are ready to give millions and millions to the cause against racism, which is no doubt just and deserving, but what about justice for millions of workers who are on the verge of dying from hunger and misery, all because the buyers sitting in the West are presumably ignorant of their plight… or are they?
It’s time we are fair to all, standby each other and work in synergy so that no one suffers, because the fact is that all lives matter! And we must pool together our resources to support the livelihood of the workers who form the backbone of the fashion industry and certainly deserve a better deal than what they got in the last few months. It’s still not too late to make amendments, so let’s pledge to support #WorkerLivelihoodsMatter!