What the garment industry can learn from food movements

JillTucker WWD-001

“We care what we eat. We care what goes into our bodies, but we don’t care that much what goes on our bodies.”

Jill Tucker, former chief technical adviser to the International Labour Organization’s Better Factories Cambodia program, said that to me in a recent interview. Her words stuck. She talked about modern food movements, and the knowledge we now have (and have access to) when it comes to food. But we don’t have the same information on clothing. We don’t know nearly as much about the origins of our clothes, who makes them, the conditions in which they work, or the problems inside the factory walls. It’s time for change, Tucker says. She envisions a day when every T-shirt tag contains a QR code for the factory in which it was made. Scan the code, and you can see precisely the story behind that shirt. The technology exists, Tucker says.

My Q&A with Tucker appears in Women’s Wear Daily. It requires a subscription to access. If you’re genuinely interested in knowing more, send me a note. And stay tuned—I think Tucker’s onto something. I suspect in the future, the global fight for better garment factories will have more parallels with modern food movements.