As American consumers, we are all familiar with the hurried pace of our lives; the day-by-day rush to complete tasks and meet pressing deadlines. We rely on a variety of industries to provide us with the commodities that keep us productive, with textiles as one of the most important. Swept up in this busy lifestyle, we tend to disregard the origins of our products and how they came to be in our shopping carts. How often do you turn to the back of your favorite hoodie to see where and by whom it was made? Or if it was made with sustainable materials for the future of the planet? These are the questions too often overlooked when deciding who we are supporting. At Aktibo, we are rising to meet these issues head-on, and are joining the sustainability movement in textiles to safeguard the livelihood of others and the well-being of the planet by using Fair Trade certified manufacturers and suppliers.
There are nearly 40 million garment workers in the world today. Many of these workers, roughly 85% women, are living in developing countries such as Bangladesh, India, and Indonesia experiencing labor exploitation and violations of workers’ rights. Workers are underpaid and overworked. Woven into the clothes hanging in our closets and shoes by our doors are the stories of workers and farmers who are trying, with the rest of us, to improve their quality of life and earn an honest living. We at Aktibo believe that makers of all resources deserve basic worker’s rights and wages, in addition to clean and safe working environments.
Along with the ethical and economic implications of the textile industry, the environmental impact of careless practices from garment companies are becoming increasingly apparent, an issue that Aktibo takes seriously and actively works against. Clothing is the second largest source of pollution in the world, and the pollution starts as early as the farming process. “Fast fashion” is mass-produced, low-quality clothing that leads to consumers more frequently throwing their clothing away into landfills. With the global population continuing to rise, it is critical that clothing manufacturers recognize their role in keeping the planet safe and habitable for future generations, a core value of the Aktibo brand.
Fair Trade is a global effort to invest in accountable companies while protecting the environment and providing empowerment to producers and consumers alike. As a global economy, we are all connected and rely on one another to manufacture the goods and services required for daily living worldwide. When purchasing Fair Trade goods, not only are you making a conscious investment in the planet but are supporting companies that provide safe working conditions for producers. Offering safe and reliable work environments enables locals to enrich their personal lives and surrounding communities. Aktibo is proud to be a player in the movement for change, providing our customers with the opportunity to wear comfortable, practical athletic wear that is ethically sourced for people and the planet.
By Emma Kentner, Aktibo Athletics