Everybody owns a white T-shirt. You know exactly why it's the go-to style staple: It's comfy, it always looks sharp and it pairs well with everything! A white T-shirt is essentially the equivalent to your fave pair of jeans, although this wardrobe basic's effect on the garment industry is anything but.
With Americans consuming nearly 20 billion garments a year, the desire for ever-growing amounts of clothing is pretty much insatiable by U.S.-sanctioned working conditions. Where do you think your T-shirt was made? Most likely, it was created overseas by a fast fashion retailer like UNIQLO, Forever 21 or Zara (Zara alone processes 1 million garments per day!).
That simple shirt might seem inexpensive, but thanks to the horrific working conditions overseas, the people who made it are actually paying with their lives.
As the consumer, you have a choice to make.
Ethically-conscious clothing companies like Zady, Rapanui, Fabindia and The White T Shirt Co make it possible for you to break fast fashion's vicious cycle.
For example at Zady, every step of the shirt manufacturing process happens in the United States. That way, owners Maxine Bedat and Soraya Darabi can keep an eye on the process from start to finish. The cotton is grown in Texas, sent to North Carolina for spinning, knitting and dyeing, and then it's sewn by someone in a worker-owned factory.
Sure, a plain white shirt from a fast fashion retailer might cost around $15, but for about $20 more, you can ensure your shirt wasn't made by a 9-year-old child in Dhaka.
Why would you want to buy four or five T-shirts a year that are so cheap, they'll fall apart in the wash anyway? Invest in a high quality T-shirt that will last, and support these caring companies in the process!