Dawn of modern slavery - dusk of human rights

Projekt zrealizowany przez Stowarzyszenie Inicjatyw Kulturalno-Młodzieżowych Art we współpracy z Silesian Society for Solidarity z.s. z Republiki Czeskiej w ramach programu Erasmus+. W wymianie młodzieży "Dawn of modern slavery - dusk of human rights" udział wzięła młodzież z Republiki Czeskiej, Polski, Litwy, Grecji, Hiszpanii i Rumunii. Projekt odbył się w dniach 14-22.6.2022 w Orlova w Republice Czeskiej 

Interview with a famous/popular fashion designer Ivana Knez

Fashion is one of the most labour-dependent industries in the world, as each piece of cloth/accessory travels through a complex supply chain. But, lack of visibility further down the chain has led the fashion industry to become the second-largest sector, after technology, to support modern slavery.  Across the garment and textile industry, exploitation include:

- human trafficking

- slavery

- servitude

- forced labour

- debt bondage

- little or no pay

- child labour

-working long hours and being locked into factories

-lack of, or inadequate, contracts  
-lack of workers’ rights, including the right to organise and bargain collectively 
-lack of social benefits such as healthcare, sick pay or pensions.
What do You think - why is there modern slavery in fashion?
- I think that it is not only fashion that is oriented towards labor abuse. All industries that have a history of creation are aiming toward mass production or robotic replacements. So fashion is just a part of the big guys game, it is more consumers led than implied. For the past 50 years the customers create the fashion, not the designers and the fault is both sided.
Where does modern slavery in fashion occur? 
- Probably in the western system of values, that’s the starting point. You see everything is about trends in the west, starting from early 13 century till now, world fashion is being dictated by a sovereign crowd of influencers that oblige us how to live. That goes from everyday decisions from what to wear to  mass consumption of capitalism.

What can consumers do about modern slavery?

- Perhaps education and wide unconventional lifestyle decisions would be the solution. There is a thin line between madness and sanity, and to be honest I am not sure which is which and what is the right thing to do. Slavery exist from the beginning of man kind, stronger tend to conquer the week. So it is a matter of balance that is at stake as a possible solution.

What can You do as fahion brand do about modern slavery?
- I do everything possible to remain human in all fields, not only as a fashion brand but as a person as well. My background is based on well manners, smart choices and learning from mistakes. Justice and freedom are a born given right, so I choose to live only by those principles. My brand is female, led by a women and run by women, I work side by side with my employees and there is no hierarchy, only lack or excess of knowledge. Combined with experience and will, there is no room for degrading in my surrounding.
What can fashion businesses do about modern slavery?
- Probably the main international problem is greed and spreading inefficient information worldwide. Half of the world doesn’t have any idea that the other half is at war, conformists are on the top of the game, so all those gigantic enterprises that are addicted to MORE are the ones that write the rules. Yet again, I am still convinced that by proper education and raising consciousness the rules of the game will change. The mass will eat both the bread and the cookies.
What do You think about the movement to shop and dress ethically?

-There is no such thing as shopping and dressing ethically. The only way to do it properly is for you to make your own clothes and wear the same clothes for as long as you can. Everything else is a marketing trick for more consumption, eco fashion included. Humanity has a tendency of categorizing everything that they can not understand or do not want to accept. Give me one sample of a modern woman that does not want more that one dress. A Nun perhaps? Please, let’s not kid ourselves with fake mannerism, we want vanity and we want more. It’s in the human nature from day one. My personal opinion is that through inner balance you can achieve ethical behavior and then perhaps one pair of excellent jeans will be enough. Till then, the industry will use you as a pawn in a game in which they always win.