Today we will be told about the production of our shirts from an ethical point of view. RIVA's products come from a large manufacturer, Continental Clothing. All Continental Clothing products are made according to the Fair Wear certificate. In practice, this means slightly more expensive products for us, but significantly better working conditions and pay for the shirt manufacturers.
The Fair Wear principle includes the following:
- "Living wage" salary level
- Salary is perhaps the most prominent issue when talking about cheap labor and sewing clothes in Asian countries. That's why we put it first on the list. The Fair Wear certificate has defined a "living wage" level as the minimum wage, which varies from country to country. The salary to be paid must cover the costs included in normal living, i.e. housing, food costs and health services. The salary must also be able to be saved for unexpected situations.
- Fixed working hours
- Working hours are a maximum of 48 hours per week, and the week must include one day off when employees rest. Overtime is always voluntary and overtime compensation is paid for it. Overtime may be done for a maximum of 12 hours per week.
- Child labor is not accepted.
- The minimum age limit for employees is 15 years. Young employees, i.e. 15-18 year olds, may not do work that could harm their health or safety in any way.
- The workplaces are safe and the work environment is safe
- The premises are inspected regularly so that going to work is not a health risk for anyone. The premises are checked for indoor air, but also for the load-bearing capacity of the structures.
- Physical and mental violence is prohibited and working conditions are monitored
- In addition to the health of the premises, the working conditions of the employees are also monitored. Physical and mental violence, such as threats and blackmail are strictly prohibited.
- There is no discrimination in the employment process
- Race, nationality, skin color, gender, political orientation or social status must not be an obstacle to anyone's employment.
These things are, for example, self-evident in Finland - or at least they should be. In many other countries, they are rights that have had to be fought for, which seems almost absurd. In our opinion, the most important things in terms of the origin of the clothes are the salary paid to the seamstress, the fact that the boss cannot blackmail employees to work around the clock, and the fact that the premises are inspected regularly.
The collapse of the Savari clothing factory
attracted a lot of attention in the media at the time; we believe that this also made Finns wake up and think about their own consumer behavior. The collapse of the clothing factory was a tragedy in which more than a thousand people died.
The worst thing is that it was not the first time, and unfortunately it will not be the last time, when the miserable conditions in the garment factories lead to the loss of human lives. There are countless articles about working conditions in factories that are worth checking out. The True Cost documentary on Netflix also makes you think about your own consumption. Everyone can form their own position using the existing information and then decide how to react to the topic.
-Eeva and Riku