The Legacy of Colonialism and a Living Wage
“That’s where the paternalistic, but also the colonialism aspect comes out as well. It’s almost like you are slapping these people in the face and saying I’m sorry but you don’t know what’s good for you, so we’re going to come in and tell you, and if you don’t like it we’ll just go to another country and source our goods there.”
On this episode of Unspun, Christian Smith joins Danielle, Lauren and Catherine for a conversation about the sustainable fashion industry, his thoughts on the white middle class dominance of the space, and the stakeholder engagement needed to make real progress. He reminds the industry that this should be one of the “most diverse job profiles you could ever see,” as we are ensuring sustainability for the “future generations of all people.”
Furthermore, he talks about a people-centered approach that acknowledges the legacies of the past, while seeking solutions that empower garment workers today, through a living wage.
Tune in to listen to our conversation with Christian Smith and follow him @inclusi_.
To join the conversation, follow us on Instagram @wearepopulation or visit our website wearepopulation.com.
View all episodes
4. Part IIII: Fibers of Pactics Capsule51:43Fibers of Pactics is a 4-part capsule series, produced by Population, in which employees and management at Pactics, a unique manufacturer in Siem Reap, share their invaluable perspectives on the manufacturing industry in Cambodia. Throughout this series, we have heard some of the challenges facing the manufacturing industry in Cambodia and what the industry should focus on when looking to the future. We have also gotten insight into the experiences of working in the industry and at Pactics in specific. On the fourth and final part of the Fibers of Pactics Capsule, Dorian van der Mullen and Kelsey Tsuchiyama go deeper into Pactics’ origins, role in the industry, and hopes for the future with Naing (Wave) Vannoeun, Pactics’ Factory Manager and first employee hired over a decade ago, and Piet Holten, Pactics’ Founder and Chairman.
3. Part III: Fibers of Pactics Capsule39:12Fibers of Pactics is a 4-part capsule series, produced by Population, in which employees and management at Pactics, a unique manufacturer in Siem Reap, share their invaluable perspectives on the manufacturing industry in Cambodia. Previous parts of this series have touched on some of the benefits of working at Pactics. In Part III of Fibers of Pactics, Kelsey Tsuchiyama and Dorian van der Mullen expand on this with Lay Sreyem, Pactics’ Group Treasurer, and Thim Chanreaksmey, Pactics’ Compliance Officer. Both Sreyem and Reaksmey have experienced the highs and lows with Pactics and explain why they have stayed for nearly 10 years. Stay tuned for the final episode of Fibers of Pactics to be released next week!
2. Part II: Fibers of Pactics Capsule28:54Fibers of Pactics is a 4-part capsule series in which employees and management at Pactics, a unique manufacturer in Siem Reap, share their invaluable perspectives on the manufacturing industry in Cambodia. Tune in to Part 2 of the series to hear from Mrs. Vong Hoy, an operator at Pactics, and Mrs. Chanthea Srim, a supervisor at Pactics, to talk about their experiences working in the manufacturing industry of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, some of the changes they’ve witnessed in Cambodia’s manufacturing industry over the years and what they hope for the future. Stay tuned for more in the Capsule Series, Fibers of Pactics!
1. Part I: Fibers of Pactics Capsule40:24Fibers of Pactics is a 4-part capsule series in which employees and management at Pactics, a unique manufacturer in Siem Reap, share their invaluable perspectives on the manufacturing industry in Cambodia. Tune in to the first part of the series where Kelsey Tsuchiyama and Dorian van der Mullen sit down with Sopanhchakpor Phet, Pactics’ Digital Printing and Sublimation Development Manager, and Eang Khoing Pav, Pactics' General Manager, to discuss the changes they’ve witnessed in Cambodia’s manufacturing industry in the past 20 years and what they hope for the future. Stay tuned for the rest of the series in the following weeks!
7. Reframing Supply Chain Narratives41:12"I wanted to show people that the framing of the problem itself was problematic...I think a lot of people in powerful positions really do subscribe to this savior/empowerment narrative. And those narratives need to be 'unspun' in their heads and their decision-making. At least be honest about what you're doing."On this episode of Unspun, Bangladeshi scholar and NYU Professor Dr. Dina Siddiqi joins Danielle, Catherine, and Lauren to talk about her work undoing harmful narratives of Bangladeshi garment workers, what is missing from conversations about the Bangladesh garment industry, and the importance of structural changes. Dr. Dina Siddiqi examines topics at the intersection of gender and human rights including transnational feminist politics, women’s work in the ready-made garment industry, and the idea of “saving” the universal garment worker—a common trope of the anti-fast fashion movement. Thanks for listening to another episode of Unspun and for joining the conversation to create a new vision for the future of fashion and home. Huge thanks to this week’s guest Dr. Dina Siddiqi for sharing her perspective on the industry. To join the conversation, follow us on Instagram @wearepopulation or visit our website wearepopulation.com. Tune
6. Representations of a Universal Garment Worker29:55On this episode of Unspun, Lauren, Danielle, and Catherine sit down with recent NYU Stern School of Business graduate Kelsey Tsuchiyama, to talk about her human and women’s rights approach to the industry’s most pressing issues.Transforming garment workers into emblems of the labor movement largely ignores the complex power dynamics they experience as workers with varied identities whether it’s gender, geography, race, or class. This narrative also intensifies existing power structures in the industry, such as global hierarchies and consumer-worker hierarchies, which can inadvertently be more harmful to workers. In her last remote year at NYU, Kelsey, along with a team of NYU classmates, created a zine to explore these topics.To hear what other questions organizers, campaigners, and WE should be asking ourselves as we stand in solidarity with workers around the world, tune in to the latest episode of Unspun and check out this .Huge thanks to this week’s guest Kelsey Tsuchiyama for sharing her perspective on the industry. You can find Kelsey on Linkedin.
5. Creating the Supplier Code of Conduct34:41On this episode of Unspun, Arjen Laan, the CEO and one of three partners of Pactics, speaks with Catherine, Danielle, and Lauren about the manufacturer’s approach to seeking values-aligned partnerships and the shortcomings of current supplier-brand relationships. At the heart of this effort, is Arjen's desire to create a Supplier Code of Conduct—a long overdue and crucial part of the equation for equitable partnerships in the supply chain.To learn more about Arjen’s experiences at Pactics and what he hopes for the future of the industry tune in to the latest episode of Unspun. Special Note from our Team: A cherished intern from Population will be headed to Cambodia to work with Arjen and Pactics on the Supplier Code of Conduct early 2022. Stay tuned for more updates!
4. Sharing the Burden of Financial Risk34:35On this episode of Unspun, Kim van der Weerd, co-founder and host of Manufactured podcast, joins Catherine, Lauren, and Danielle to discuss how the unequal distribution of financial risk shapes the relationship between brands and suppliers. Kim describes herself as a “student of human rights turned garment factory manager turned sustainable fashion critic.” While she always had an interest in the global political economy and supply chains, she wanted to learn more about what this looks like from the manufacturer's perspective. Tune in to listen to Kim's experience @tonledesign and @pactics, and to hear about what she's doing on @manufactured_podcast. To join the conversation with Unpsun, follow us on Instagram @wearepopulation or visit our website wearepopulation.com.
3. Manufacturing in L.A.35:21On this episode of Unspun, Kristen Gonzalez, founder of contemporary fashion label, SELVA \ NEGRA, sits down with Danielle, Catherine, and Lauren to talk about the struggles and triumphs of being a small, sustainable brand manufacturing in L.A. and why incorporating her culture into the brand was so important to her. Kristen is committed to a community-rooted approach to business, prioritizing ethical production and sustainable materials sourcing. SELVA \ NEGRA was an early supporter of the Garment Worker Protection Act or Senate Bill 62 and has worked with the Garment Worker Center to help get the recent bill passed. Huge thanks to Kristen Gonzalez for sharing her perspective on the industry. You can follow her on Instagram @selvanegra_ or @kristenita_.