Due to the pandemic, most of garment factories have been closed. Many workers were forced to take unpaid leave. Some turned to sewing face masks.
The Polish garment industry is built on exploitation.
The “made in Poland” label doesn’t mean the clothing is manufactured with respect for human rights.

The Polish garment industry is built on exploitation.

Let’s change this! Say no to exploitation!
​Donate 1% of your tax to the Buy Responsibly Foundation and support us
​in our efforts to improve the situation of Polish garment workers.

Learn more

WHAT WILL WE DO WITH THE MONEY FROM YOUR 1% DONATIONS?
 
For years, we have been actively involved in efforts to make our planet clean and our shopping responsible and this year we focus on the working conditions of seamstresses in Poland and beyond. We will allocate funds from 1% to the campaign "Let's fix fashion!" including:
  • further development and promotion of Good Shopping Guide and Where-to Go Guide apps that show what and where to buy to support a sustainable clothing industry, and thus seamstresses
  • further development and promotion of fashionchecker.org.pl where you can check the transparency of clothing brands
  • awareness campaign in the media and social media - we want to provide information about how our clothes are sewn and what to do to dress responsibly
  • dialogue with Polish companies - we want to talk about how to make Polish fashion created with respect for employees and the environment
  • advocacy at European and national level for legislation to make companies accountable for their supply chains (mandatory due diligence).
The cost of the awareness campaign is 8,000 PLN that we have to raise in order to publicize the issue and encourage consumers, producers and other actors on the political stage to introduce change. Are you with us?
 
WHAT HAVE WE DONE ALREADY?
  • Interviews with 22 seamstresses – they’ve become the basis for media articles about problems faced by Polish garment workers.
  • A media campaign in support for seamstresses – 46 publications in traditional media, reaching over 2,5 million people.
  • Development of modern tools: Fashion Checker, thanks to which you can check the transparency of clothing brands and the Good Shopping Guide and Where -to Go Guide apps, which show what and where to buy to support a sustainable clothing industry, and thus seamstresses.
  • Support for 3 seamstresses during court proceedings – they were fired from their factory on disciplinary grounds after going on strike against poor working conditions.
  • We operated a hotline for seamstresses for 4 months – supportive talks with garment workers, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts.
  • We have worked with the Plenipotentiary for Equal Treatment – as a result, she made an intervention and obliged the Chief Labour Inspectorate to submit report on the inspections carried out so far.
  • We have talked to 6 garment companies sourcing from Poland about what should be done to improve the situation of seamstresses.
  • We have involved 22 seamstresses from over 13 towns in these activities and we’ve started working with trade unions, experts and other organizations.
During the pandemic, seamstresses had nothing to live on. Then the situation improved a bit, but rampant inflation and very low wages are taking their toll on the seamstresses. They still work over 12 hours a day, no vacation, no dismissal, no respect from their superiors. When buying clothes every day, we do not think about the working conditions of the people who sew these blouses, dresses, jackets, etc. Let us demand that decent work be a standard in the Polish clothing industry. Let's do this together.
“Made in Poland” doesn’t necessarily mean its “all good.” We should ask questions and check the conditions where Polish garments are manufactured. “Seamstresses in this country have no rights. They are intimidated. Mobbing, shouting, crying are the norm. Lack of respect and coercion also occur on a daily basis. They think they can do anything with us” – said Barbara from Łask in Łódzkie province, one of several seamstresses who took part in the Foundation’s research and worked up the courage to talk about their difficult experiences.
As a result of the pandemic and the economic crisis, some of garment factories have been closed. Just before the war in Ukraine, large clothing brands ordered huge batches of clothes from sewing factories in Bangladesh and still have not paid for them. What does it mean? Sewing factories are on the brink of bankruptcy, and people who sew clothes are still waiting for salaries, which means to be or not to be. Remind yourself of the fate of the women and men who sew your clothes for a pittance.