“Work gives people control over their lives. They can choose not to exploit the environment when they have another way to make a living.” – Vivienne Westwood
The Ethical Fashion Initiative believes in building a responsible fashion industry. Harnessing fashion as a vehicle for positive change, the Initiative’s fashion partners contribute to improving the lives of those involved with the positive impact often extending to the entire community.
To ensure the Ethical Fashion Initiative achieves its goals, the programme has developed and implements a rigorous monitoring and evaluation tool called RISE. The RISE system monitors and tracks the production of fashion items to ensure that activities take place ethically and in a fully traceable supply chain. RISE stands for Respect, Invest, Sustain and Empower.
Through RISE, the added value brought by artisanal production can be communicated to our partners and directly to consumers.
For each order, the Ethical Fashion Initiative’s RISE team creates a report highlighting the communities involved, skills required and the impact on the artisans’ livelihood (nutrition, education, healthcare etc.) In addition, our partners can choose to include a “product passport” tag for the items to communicate their involvement in the RISE scheme and their support for a more ethical fashion industry.
There are three stages to the RISE scheme:
1. Assess - provides information on the initial situation of the beneficiaries and their performance that the Ethical Fashion Initiative aims to change.
2. Control – allows clear and objective capturing, measuring and monitoring of the activities of artisans, fair labour compliance and environmental performance during the production period.
3. Trace – captures the information in a regular and systematic manner to monitor impact results, credibility and transparency across the entire chain of producers.
RISE works through continuous data gathering through assessments, focus group discussions, surveys, mappings, tracking tools and other twenty different methods. This data is then analysed and made available online.
The Ethical Fashion Initiative is also a member of the Fair Labour Association (FLA) since 2010 and follows and implements the FLA’s rigorous code of conduct.
While we do not discriminate against men, the empowerment of women is our priority. Most of the women we work with are the sole breadwinners of their households. What they earn while working through the Ethical Fashion Initiative, enables them to feed their families, pay for education and meet medical expenses. Working in fashion also provides them with an escape from other ways of surviving that can be dangerous, unrewarding and underpaid. Dignified work empowers women by increasing their self-confidence and respect they receive from their communities. We help women become decision makers and provide them with a voice in community life. It is women, through their outstanding skills and commitment, who make the Ethical Fashion Initiative’s system work.
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Karen Walker Autumn/Winter 2015 Impact Assessment ReportRead article
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Ethical Fashion Initiative
International Trade Centre
54-56, Rue de Montbrillant
1202 Geneva, Switzerland