US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has announced the first federal law to hold fashion brands accountable for their labor practices.
On Thursday, May 12, the New York Democrat introduced the Fashioning Accountability and Building Real Institutional Change Act—the FABRIC Act for short—in the Senate, a first-of-its-kind federal bill that aims to change fair labor standards. . Law of 1938 prohibiting employers from paying workers in the garment industry on a piece-work basis.
According to the summary filed Thursday, the bill also requires manufacturers and contractors in the apparel industry to register with the Department of Labor. He is now on the Senate Finance Committee, with Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) listed as co-sponsors.
Senator Gillibrand announced earlier this week that she would introduce the bill on Thursday in an interview with Vogue. “We need to ban predatory payments through piece rates, but we also need to incentivize these companies to bring manufacturing back to the United States or allow them to start here in the first place,” Sen said. Gillibrand told the publication.
According to Vogue, several industry groups have expressed their support, including Model Alliance, Worker’s United, Fashion Revolution, Center for the Advancement of Garment Making, Fashion Connection, Skilled Laborers Brigade, Sustainable Brooklyn, Custom Collaborative, The Slow Factory, New Standard Institute and the fashion design program at California College of the Arts.
This follows similar state-level bills that seek to make fashion companies more accountable in their business practices.
A bill submitted to the New York State Senate in January, called the Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act (or Fashion Act), aims to hold some of the biggest fashion brands accountable for their role in climate change. . Sponsored by State Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Congresswoman Anna Kelles, the bill requires fashion retailers and manufacturers to disclose their environmental and social due diligence policies; establishes a community benefits fund for the purpose of implementing one or more environmental benefits projects that directly and verifiably benefit environmental justice communities.
Additionally, in March, Model Alliance founder Sara Ziff announced labor-friendly legislation “The Fashion Workers Act,” which aims to protect New York models and other fashion designers from predatory management agencies that operate currently unsupervised.
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