By Timothy Jahl
No company wants to be seen as violating human rights in their factories. Several horrific and high-profile disasters abroad in the garment and clothing industries have led many companies to highlight their “ethical” sourcing of labor and their excellent systems for accountability. And yet, such disasters keep happening year after year.
No matter how good your intentions are, low-cost clothing comes at a price, a price that abused foreign workers often pay. By manufacturing products within the European Union, companies can ensure that workers enjoy better protections of their rights that are better enforced. Check out these 6 companies that go the extra mile to protect human dignity by manufacturing in the EU.
- Vegetarian Shoes
Vegetarian Shoes makes footwear and other normally leather-based products using only its own patented vegan leather-replacement recipe. Manufacturing in England, Germany, Portugal, and Poland, they got on the vegan train before most, as they have been making cruelty-free products since 1990.
- Jill Milan
Another cruelty-free producer, Jill Milan is a designer of fashion accessories, including bags and wallets. Jill Milan’s bags are family-made in Italy, while they carry out some other manufacturing in the United States under the supervision of a Jill Milan representative. Jill Milan’s mission is to bring faux-leather into the luxury market.
- Story Mfg.
The most hipster company on this list, Story Mfg. carries a quirky variety of both fashion basics and unusual accessories. If you want a broad selection, don’t look here, but if you’re looking for something to set you apart, Story Mfg. is the place for you. All of their products are made in England.
- Little Shrimp
Little Shrimp sells exclusively clothing for infants and young children, all made from eco-friendly cotton. While it has a limited number of products, this restraint allows Little Shrimp to offer a number of different designs for each item in its catalogue. So if you’re looking to get just the right first outfit for your child, Little Shrimp can help you find it. All Little Shrimp products are made in the UK.
- Taylor Stitch
While based in California, Taylor Stich? makes most of its products for the European market within the EU. Taylor Stich? has a reputation for producing comfortable and long-lasting clothes that don’t sacrifice any style. Their European manufacturing capabilities include facilities in Portugal, Italy, and Scotland.
- Bourgeois Boheme
Bourgeois Boheme is a maker of elegant footwear for men and women. They have a special line of boots called the BBK-9, for which a portion of the profits are donated to animal rescue charities. Based and manufactured in London, Bourgeois Boheme also takes advantage of the long tradition of fine Portuguese cobblers with a factory in that country.