The Human Thread

popeFrancis
Our Way

Our globalized economy brings us into relationships with people around the world. Yet, the marketplace hides these connections and the consequences of our consumption choices.

WE THE PEOPLE OF THE CLOTH

As baptized members of the body of Christ, we are called to enter into solidarity with one another, or to be “clothed with compassion” (Col. 3:12).

“Solidarity helps us see the ‘other’…not just as some kind of instrument, with a work capacity and physical strength to be exploited at low cost and then discarded when no longer useful, but as ‘our neighbor,’ a ‘helper’ to be made a sharer, on a par with ourselves, in the banquet of life to which all are equally invited by God.” (St. Pope John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 39).

TAKE THE PLEDGE

I pledge to:

Pray for the cultivation of solidarity between the consumers of clothing with the people who produce them in order to create sustainable communities through a more just economy. Learn about and educate others on the real consequences (both negative and positive) of globalized supply chains, especially in the clothing industry. Assess how we — as individuals and in our families, faith communities and places of employment — are able to confront the ’globalization of indifference” in the clothing industry by taking greater responsibility for the unintended consequences of our behavior as consumers. Act to change our choices and behaviors as consumers to improve the lives of the people who make our clothing and other goods in the global economy. Advocate for Catholic principles, priorities, and values with retailers, brand owners and government bodies concerning the wages and working conditions of the people who make our clothing.

Take The Pledge

ADVOCACY: ADD YOUR VOICE NOW

We lift a united Catholic voice to support sensible, faith-informed voice for policies that protect and improve the wages and working conditions of those who make our clothing.

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Fashion Revolution’s 2017 Fashion Transparency Index

FR_FashionTransparencyIndex2017 The Fashion Transparency Index 2017 reviews and ranks 100 of the biggest global fashion and apparel brands and retailers according to how much information they disclose about their suppliers, supply chain policies and practices, and social and environmental impact.

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That we may know Easter Joy: Lament for Rana Plaza

A prayer service for Rana Plaza: RanaPlaza

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2017 Guide Milwaukee – Chicago

2017 Guide to Family, Sports, Work and School Clothing Local and Web Based Retail and Wholesale Sources Identified as Sweat-shop Free, Fair Trade, Eco-friendly or Locally Made for Milwaukee and Chicago

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Five Reasons to be Concerned About Our Clothes

We should all be concerned about clothes. Here are five reasons why: FiveReasons

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Human Thread Workshop Lesson Plan

Human Thread Workshop Lesson Plan This lesson plan describes the steps in leading a 90-minute session with adults reflecting on our relationship with the people who make our clothes

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Fashion’s Impact on the Environment and Care of Creation

Behind big oil, the garment industry is the number two contributor to global climate change, and that is just one of its harmful impacts on the environment. Download and read this startling document. CareofCreation

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Green Sheet for August 2016

We have our monthly edition of "The Green Sheet" in color and black and white. Green Sheet 16 08. Greent Sheet Reverse 16 08. Green Sheet B W 16 08. Greent Sheet Reverse BW16 08. All is under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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Prayer Service for the World Day Against Trafficking (July 30)

The Sisters of the Incarnate Word Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office have prepared a prayer to help focus our intentions and strengthen our resolve to end human trafficking. Prayer_HumanTrafficking_July30_2016

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Brand scorecards: The Truth Behind the Barcode

While we consider these scorecards to be important, each brings a different set of lenses to the question of ethical sourcing, not unlike Olympic judges evaluating a gymnast's performance. Unfortunately, the brands, by and large, underperform on almost every scorecard. The choices, often, are among the lesser of two evils, as readers will see. "The Truth Behind the Barcode: Apparel Industry Trends" ranks 300 apparel brands on their efforts to address child and forced labor in their supply chains. It provides a picture of the practices of industry leaders, and calls out brands that fuel modern slavery through their negligence.

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CBS Undercover in a Bangladesh clothing factory

Within a month of the Rana Plaza disaster, CBS entered a factory posing as a garment buyers. Many of the clothes sold in American stores come from factories in Bangladesh, which has a history of workplace disasters. Following the factory collapse last month that killed over 1,000 people, Holly Williams went undercover to see what the conditions are really like. CBS has disabled the embedding feature, so you will need to follow the link to view the video: https://youtu.be/W1mvcFuiTts.

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Triangle Returns

Before Rana Plaza, there was the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. In this 2011 video from the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights, we see that 100 years after the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire little has changed in the global sweatshop economy. Workers are again trapped and burned to death behind locked exit gates.

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Fast Facts about Fast Fashion

Do you need some "Fast Facts about Fast Fashion?" You can download the document here: 10 Fast Facts

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Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Fashion

(Language Warning) Trendy clothes are cheaper than ever. That sounds great for the people who buy them, but it's horrible for the people who make them. The remarkable John Oliver considers this important subject on his HBO show. Note: Some viewers may find the language used in the video objectionable.

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‘The True Cost’ – Official Trailer

This is a story about clothing. It’s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing? Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world’s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes. The Human Thread has purchased the rights to offer a free screening of this powerful film in your parish or school. Please, contact us if you would like to arrange a screening.

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“The Deadly Cost of Fashion” from The New York Times

On April 24, 2013, Ismail Ferdous, a photojournalist, covered the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh. This op-doc by The New York Times visually documents the people, the working conditions and clothing found in the rubble. Note: There are images in the video that some will find disturbing.

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Praying with Pope Francis

For personal prayer or for beginning or concluding meetings, we recommend this prayer of Pope Francis from the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia: Prayer from the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia

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Praying with Pope Francis

This moving prayer from the conclusion of the Encyclical Letter Laudato Si' can be used in personal prayer or for beginning or concluding group meetings: Prayer from Laudato Si.

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From CRS: “Live Mercy: In The Marketplace”

Catholic Relief Services has created a faith-sharing resource for small groups that forms, inspires and prepares communities, as consumers in a global economy, to show Christ’s compassionate love to others.

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Consumer Sweatshop-Free Guide – Milwaukee

Our purchases reflect our values. Rather than support unjust labor practices by acquiring T-shirts made in sweatshops, here is a local directory for Milwaukee that helps consumers to opt for a unionized factory in the U.S. or a worker-owned factory elsewhere. Ethical purchasing gradually transforms the lives of workers and their work places. The loss of your business may draw other employers to treat their workers in a more humane way, if only to win you back. You choices make a big difference in the lives of workers and their families! Here is our 2016 guide for Milwaukee: 2016 Clothing Guide.

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Clean Clothes Campaign from the Archdiocese of Milwaukee

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee share in English and Spanish the components for a clean clothes campaign. A fundamental Catholic belief is that of valuing and respecting the sacredness of human life. As Catholics, we believe that workers have a God-given right to respect and dignity. These Catholic Social Teachings inspires the Clean Clothes Campaign. The campaign aims to gain a greater understanding of the issue of sweatshops and to act in a positive way. It is neither a boycott nor marching in the streets; the campaign is to make moral decisions, to respect life!

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Planet Money’s T-shirt Project

NPR's Planet Money team followed the making of a simple cotton t-shirt through the global economy. The team followed the shirt around the world as it gets manufactured — from the farms where the cotton is grown to the factories where the shirts are sewn together. Follow the link to see and hear stories about the fascinating world behind that T-shirt.

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