Have you ever wondered if the shirt on your back — or that new one on the rack — may have been made by slaves? Now there’s an app for that.
FTS frontline partner group Repórter Brasil has launched a free application for smartphones that evaluates popular clothing brands. It’s called Moda Livre (Free Fashion). This app highlights that slavery is often found in everyday products—including the things we wear. Unscrupulous businesses reap illicit profits through labor that is cheap or free.
Textile manufacturing is one of Brazil’s largest industries. The International Textile Manufacturers Federation reports that Brazil is among the top 10 textile markets worldwide and among the top five as an apparel producer.
Brazil is also a global hot spot for trafficking, with nearly 210,000 people in modern-day slavery, according to the Walk Free 2013 Global Slavery Index.
With assistance from PiU Comunica, Repórter Brasil created the Moda Livre app to evaluate efforts of Brazil’s major clothing retailers to fight slave labor in their supply chains. The app acts as a real-time shopping aid for consumers, by revealing the actions that Brazilian clothing retailers are taking to prevent their products from being manufactured with slave labor.
To develop the application, 22 companies were asked to answer a questionnaire based on four criteria:
- Policies: commitment to fight slave labor in their supply chains.
- Monitoring: measures to monitor their clothing suppliers.
- Transparency: actions to monitor suppliers and fight slave labor.
- Background: summary of companies involved cases of slave labor, according to the government.
Based on their answers, the companies were assigned one of three color rankings according to the level of their commitment to prevent slave labor: green, yellow, or red. Companies who did not respond to the questionnaire were automatically tagged as red.
The app is focused on Brazil’s clothing market, but it includes at least one brand that’s familiar to American consumers.
To visit the Moda Livre download site, click here.
To learn more about other innovative Free the Slaves work in Brazil, click here.
Editors Note: FTS Brazil Program Manager Flavia Modell contributed material for this article.