Human trafficking is a major issue worldwide. And a very big issue in the textile industry. Unfortunately also in sustainable and “fair” textile production. Fiori Zafeiropoulou can easily be described as one of THE experts in this field. Her commitment does not stop at research and observation, Fiori is also the founder of SOFFA, a social fashion factory in Athens.
“The second biggest industry with labour trafficking is fashion.
72 percent are women and girls.
One out of four is a child.
Average age of children in slavery is 12 years old.”
Together with her team, she works with victims of human trafficking, among others, training them and preparing them for an independent future.
“Corona has two sides: The virus has led to the slow down of consumption. But the brands stopped the production without paying the factories. So the workers are not paid.”
The scientist and activist is globally networked and at the same time locally active. Fiori is a bundle of energy because in addition to all this she has also built up Fashion Revolution Greece and is the chairperson.
“For us as the global consumers the situation is a very good opportunity to reflect on our overconsuming habits.”
In an interview with Susanne Barta, human trafficking expert Fiori Zafeiropoulou talks about “modern slavery” and how Corona is causing great difficulties for production companies and workers. Does she believe that the current crisis will have a positive impact on the textile industry and consumers? “A lot has happened in recent years,” says the expert. And she believes that consumer awareness will continue to grow.