The Human Thread: Catholics for Clothing with a Conscience

Formerly known as the Catholic Campaign for Clothing with a Conscience, this ministry formed in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster in April 2013 in which over 1100 workers in a Bangladesh garment factory were killed when their factory building collapsed.  Subsequent investigations revealed a host of safety violations and underscored the plight of the people (mostly women) in developing countries who make the clothes we buy.

In a globalized and highly competitive economy, suppliers are under tremendous pressure by retailers to produce the goods they want at the lowest possible costs; and this too often means low pay, few if any benefits, and dismal and too often dangerous working conditions.  We get relatively cheap clothes, companies make profits, and people desperate to provide for their families put their health, well-being and even their lives at risk.

The Human Thread invites consumers to ask, “Does it really have to be this way?” and invites them to consider a range of responses—from critically examining our culture of consumerism to purchasing more fairly sourced and traded clothes and footwear.  One may have to pay a little more for a shirt or a pair of pants or shoes, but that small increase in price can mean a big difference in the lives of others.