FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 10, 2017
Contact: Nadine Manson
Sweatshop Sportswear is All the Rage!
Woman designs Bewildher ethical business model with fashioned middle finger.
Squamish, B.C. – Local resident Nadine Manson, commercial clothing designer and owner of eco-friendly and ethical Bewildher Fitwear, knows that sportswear is a $350 billion global industry ripe with waste. Think leftover inventory (stale, unsold, sitting-in-warehouses-as-you-read) that in 2015 tied up an estimated $1.1trillion of North American businesses working capital while contributing to the 12 million tons of clothing tossed into American landfills each year.
Manson loses sleep knowing that some of the tossing is calculated—that businesses actually choose to shred stale inventory and dump into landfills, rather than donate to charity, to protect their brand from being viewed as cheap. But, what really keeps Manson up at night?
“Millions of dollars are tied up in garments that end up in landfills, while at the same time workers are being grossly under-paid,” says Manson.
Manson says too many sportswear brands claim, tout, and market themselves as ethical because their products are made in Canada and North America, where working conditions are deemed safe and controlled minimum wages are in place. “Are working conditions better here than overseas? Yes, but minimum wages of $11.35 per hour are still far below the poverty line in Vancouver where $20.62 per hour is considered a living wage. That’s hardly ethical.”
“As a designer, I’ve turned a blind eye to these poor practices, too,” says Manson. “But, I no longer can. I don’t want to berate anyone, I understand. I would like to educate, open eyes to these behind-the-scenes issues, and welcome people to be a part of powerful change.”
The change? Manson’s pre-sale business model which allows businesses to offer better consumer prices, waste far less material, and apply financial gain to supplementing employee wages. Manson is testing public interest and promoting her sustainable business model through “Bewildher Eco-Friendly Leggings for Living Wages” on Kickstarter.com. Currently more than 80 percent funded, the passionate project runs through November 20, 2017.
“People buy active-wear to live well. It’s sadly ironic that garment factory employees can barely afford to live, period,” says Manson. “But we can change this. I’m beginning, will you?”