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Social Startup 'FairWear' aims to change the Game for Bangladesh Garment workers

Apr 25, 2014

The problem that Bangladesh garment industry is facing is a twofold issue. It’s not about compliance factories only rather the brands that die for lower price clothing is equally responsible for this perpetual tragedy going on for years. Only in the United States alone clothing industry generates $284 Billion in revenue annually but how much this brands are willing to pay for the labor that makes them ever mounting revenue? Global clothing industry lacks conscience.

However, we need to fix this problem. And we need a sustainable model to do that. FairWear-a social startup based in Washington DC wants to do that for good.

FairWear screenshot

FairWear a Washington DC based social venture launched its first online store a year after Rana Plaza tragedy to address core problem of corrupt supply chain in Bangladeshi garment industry that pays workers less and places their life at risk. Devin Chesney-the founder of the venture wants to address the problem with a different, sustainable and scalable approach. Devin-a social entrepreneur himself claims we need a permanent solution for this problem and no one is trying to do that with right approach.

The thing that particularly bothered me was that nobody seemed to have an approach that could plausibly become a permanent solution to the root problem. Charities are not well suited to solving structural economic problems at a global scale. I knew I needed a business model that was scalable and addressed the core problem. So I decided to build a clothing store that would promote and sell clothing made fairly to try and change the incentives: to reward manufacturers who do things the right way and give customers a simple transparent choice to shop more ethically.

-said Devin in an interview with Forbes.

FairWear, funded by Devin himself, doesn't’ want to go for any investment right now fearing that it might dilute the long term purpose of the company. Rather he is betting on crowdfunding for his first project in Bangladesh- a high quality fashion pocket t-shirt in a certified safe factory.

Builds on a changing business model, as founder Devin claims, FairWear wants to move slowly but wants to have its foundation strong. Although they started with a t-shirt project Devin says they also want to explore other areas of clothing as well while slowly building a community, and a marketplace for clothing companies who are willing to go for fair clothing.

Devin hopes that FairWear will bring customers high quality clothes that they can wear with pride while applying a unified set of standards for safety and wages in developing countries.

FAIR is a highly encouraged concept globally and consumers around the world are giving attention to details of making of products and willing to pay higher price for a good quality FAIR products. FairWear founder wants to leverage this opportunity to build a vibrant community of customers around the idea of FAIR manufacturing that will get attention of established retailers and will encourage them to adjust their existing supply chains to leverage the power of good.

Currently, based out of 1776-a startup incubator organization in Washington, DC, FairWear is working closely with BRAC to arrange logistics and connections all over the Bangladesh.

Only in the United States alone clothing industry generates $284 Billion in revenue annually and the global garment industry employs an estimated 75 million people. Unfortunately, the sector is convoluted and preposterous at its best and it seems nobody cares. Even many of the brands that promised to pay after last year tragedy yet to pay their share.

FairWear says it’s very much possible to ensure a fair cut from that mounting revenue for the people who make it. And FairWear is determined to make it happens. As Devin says-

FairWear will enable people put their clothing dollar to work for good.

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