This is a season where vulnerable people are even more so. Our world was already fraught with the exploitation of workers, and the challenges we are all facing are exacerbated for them. We encourage you, when possible, to have a heightened sense of conscious consumption. All of the efforts you engaged in before, from supporting local businesses to consuming less and consuming better to mapping your eco footprint to shopping fair trade, are even more important now. There are also no easy answers; for example, even PPE in COVID is fraught with human rights issues, as seen in the situation with medical gloves made in Malaysia and human trafficking. And we are here for you amidst the questions and tensions.
The current crisis makes it more apparent that the garment industry is broken. Now more than ever, the fashion industry needs to be transformed to protect those who make and who wear clothing, i.e., all of us. If you’d like to learn more about the challenges faced by garment workers around the world as well as take action we recommend the Garment Worker Covid-19 Relief Website, which was created by some of our friends and supporters.
Conscious consumption is all about relationships, and we should all honor both our relationships as consumers and our direct relationships. Friends, please do your best to care for those in your orbit during the pandemic (in a way that aligns with the rules of the season, of course) as well as in the aftermath. Who in your world was already vulnerable and may be even more now? Check in on those with mental and physical health challenges, the economically vulnerable, and anyone for whom life was already a struggle for any reason. Know that there are many resources out there, from nonprofits to government programs, that may be helpful.
We are incredibly proud of the work of our partners. For example, Los Angeles-based Lefty Production Company is partnering with the fantastic initiative L.A. Protects to create and disseminate non-medical face masks. These masks are also available to individuals and businesses. India-based Mehera Shaw confirmed that all of their employees are safe at home. They are paying salaries to their employees during this time to ensure their continued safety and well-being. EcoEnclose, who creates our eco-conscious packaging, is working to support the many ethical, sustainable businesses in their orbit through dealing with challenges presented by COVID, from sharing values-based leadership strategies to places for financing.
A number of our partners, and our founder, are heavily affected by childcare and school closures and other challenges unique to and/or exacerbated in this season. We are here to support them, aiming to give them grace and understanding around things like needing more time to respond or pivoting in their operations. Here are Maven Women we are making all payments in full and on time and continuing all partnerships.
Many things over the next month are uncertain, but you can trust that Maven Women will be here once the pandemic subsides. We aim to be on top of our own operations and make whatever sacrifices we need to internally so we have a future role in serving you and being a voice of integrity in the fashion industry.