Senator Kirsten Gillibrand Introduces First Federal Fashion Bill – Footwear News

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US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has announced the first federal law seeking to hold fashion brands accountable for their labor practices.

On Thursday, May 12, New York Democrats introduced the “Fashioning Accountability and Building Real Institutional Change Act” – the FABRIC Act for short – to the Senate, the first federal bill seeking to change Fair Labor Standards. A 1938 law prohibiting employers from paying employees in the garment industry at a piece rate.

According to a summary filed on Thursday, the bill also requires manufacturers and contractors in the garment industry to register with the Labor Department. 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 made the announcement earlier this week that he would present the bill on Thursday in an interview with Vogue. “We need to ban predatory payments through piecemeal rates, but we also need to give these companies an incentive to bring manufacturing back to the US or allow them to start here early on,” Sen Gillibrand told the publication.

According to Vogue, various industry groups have expressed their support, including the Model Alliance, Labor Union, Fashion Revolution, Center for the Advancement of Garment Manufacturing, Fashion Connections, Skilled Labor Brigade, Sustainable Brooklyn, Custom Collaboration, Slow Factory, New Standards Institute and the California fashion design program. College of the Arts.

It follows similar laws at the state level that seek to make fashion companies more accountable in their business practices.

A bill that was tabled in the New York State Senate in January, called the “Fashion Sustainability and Social Accountability Act” (or the Fashion Act), seeks to hold some of the biggest brands in fashion accountable for their role in climate change. Sponsored by State Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Assemblyman Anna Kelles, the bill requires fashion retailers and manufacturers to disclose environmental and social due diligence policies; establish a community benefit fund for the purpose of implementing one or more environmental benefit projects that directly and provably benefit the environmental justice community.

What’s more, in March, Model Alliance founder Sara Ziff announced a pro-labor bill “The Fashion Workers Act,” which aims to protect New York models and other fashion creatives from predatory management agencies currently operating unsupervised.

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