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Clothes for a Change
from Organic Consumer's Association
Editor's Note from Susan Lutz: Global campaign ensues to educate and empower the use and promotion of organic cotton - helping to stop sweatshops and start using this incredible crop in a balanced and ultimately more profitable way for the planet.
Clothes for a Change is a global campaign to raise awareness about the negative health and environmental effects of conventional and genetically engineered cotton and the institutionalized exploitation of clothing sweatshops.
By uniting organic consumers, anti-genetic engineering activists, trade unionists, religious social justice advocates, progressives in the fashion & apparel industry, and the Fair Trade / anti-sweatshop communities into a potent force we can change the dynamics of the marketplace and fundamentally alter public policy.
The Clothes for a Change Campaign Is Demanding that Major Clothing Retailers & Manufacturers:
* Stop using genetically engineered cotton.
* Start blending in certified organic or "transition to organic" cotton in their clothing.
* Guarantee that they meet independently verified Fair Labor (non-sweatshop) standards.
* Eliminate all production and export cotton subsidies in the U.S. and convert to Green subsidies for organic and transition to organic cotton production.
While the OCA and our allies put marketplace pressure on the clothing giants, we will also be enlisting public interest groups to support the campaign by:
* Committing to procure non-sweatshop, environmentally sound products.
* Signing-on in support of the core demands of the Clothes for a Change campaign.
* Sustainable Cotton Project - Information about farmers, manufacturers, activists, retailers and others who are devoting their energies to making organic cotton a viable agricultural and economic alternative.
* Behind the Label - Promoting the collective bargaining power of both workers in sweatshops and communities of consumers.
* International Organic Cotton Directory -Directory locates links in the organic cotton chain: organic agricultural input suppliers, farmers, gins, mills & retailers of organic cotton products.
LABOR ISSUES & SWEATSHOP INFO
* National Labor Committee - Educating & engaging the public on human & labor rights abuses by corporations.
* Global Exchange - Human rights organization dedicated to promoting environmental, political, and social justice around the world.
* Workers Rights Consortium (WRC) - A non-profit organization created by college and university administrations, students and labor rights experts on over 100 campuses. The WRC's purpose is to ensure that factories producing clothing and other goods bearing college and university names respect the basic rights of workers.
* Campaign for Labor Rights (CLR) - Working to inform and mobilize grassroots activists in solidarity with major, international anti-sweatshop struggles. CLR has been called the "grassroots mobilizing department" of the anti-sweatshop movement
* UNITE! Fighting for good jobs everywhere. Our union is supporting workers in other countries who are fighting to organize their own unions to improve wages and working conditions.
* Clean Clothes Campaign Campaignind to improve working conditions in the garment industry.
* Ethix Merch A supplier of custom made, union made and organic promotional products and the new Alta Gracia line of living wage, union made clothing. Ethix Merch also hosts a blog that discusses workers rights, sweatfree campaigns, fair trade, and the environment.
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About The Organic Consumers Association
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The OCA deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children's health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability and other key topics. We are the only organization in the US focused on promoting the views and interests of the nation's estimated 76 million organic and socially responsible consumers.
The OCA represents over one million members, subscribers and volunteers, including several thousand businesses in the natural foods and organic marketplace. Our US and international policy board is broadly representative of the organic, family farm, environmental, and public interest community.
The Organic Consumers Association was formed in 1998 in the wake of the mass backlash by organic consumers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture's controversial proposed national regulations for organic food. Through the OCA's SOS (Safeguard Organic Standards) Campaign, as well as the work of our allies in other organizations, the organic community over the last eight years has been able to mobilize hundreds of thousands of consumers to pressure the USDA and organic companies to preserve strict organic standards. In its public education, network building, and mobilization activities such as its Breaking the Chains campaign, OCA works with a broad range of public interest organizations to challenge industrial agriculture, corporate globalization, and the Wal-Martization of the economy, and inspire consumers to "Buy Local, Organic, and Fair Made."