“In Bangladesh you see women who work 12 to 16 hours a day to produce our clothes in factories which have bars on the windows and guards at the doors. They are paid very little. Even if it’s the national minimum wage, it’s really a poverty wage.
“The ‘fast fashion’ companies are like drug pushers: they go to these countries promising to lift millions out of poverty, they get the business, and then once they start production in that country they start pushing prices down.
“They can always impose the lowest wages and local governments and entire countries are enslaved by that. Say you are in Bangladesh, if you are too expensive they’ll go to Vietnam or Myanmar, which they are doing.
“Twice a week they put a new collection in the store,” she says. “There’s a new thing that we can buy—’Oh my God! It’s only $12, €13, £20, I’ll buy it, who cares?’
“In the name of democratizing fashion they addicted us, like a sugar rush, to consume that. Who needs all these clothes? Who needs all this crap?”
—Livia Firth, creative director of sustainable brand consultancy Eco-Age and co-founder of the Green Carpet Challenge, speaking to CNN on Thursday at the Trust Women conference in London, where she announced a “groundbreaking study to establish the legalities for a global standard on wages.”