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These heavily discounted fashion boxes filled with cancelled orders directly support factory workers affected by COVID-19

IMAGE VIA LOST STOCK
WORDS BY MAGGIE ZHOU

“If our workers don’t die of coronavirus, they’ll die of starvation.”

Coronavirus has been a curveball that has smacked the entire world hard in the face. But people of colour have been hit harder than most.

Black people are more than four times more likely to die from COVID-19 than White people and Bangladeshi and Pakistani males are almost twice as likely to die from it than their White male counterparts according to The Guardian.

And if the health concerns aren’t disturbing enough, millions of workers in countries like Bangladesh have been left without pay or unemployed as brands have cancelled or suspended existing orders. That’s roughly $4.7 billion worth of orders that have affected 1,150 factories and 2.27 million workers and their families

Enter Lost Stock, a new initiative created by Mallzee, a start-up shopping app from Edinburgh, in response to the inconceivable amount of unused stock and thousands of workers that have been left penniless. By cutting out the middleman of retailers and brands, Lost Stock is able to support one Bangladeshi family for a week from the proceeds of each box sold. 

For $65 plus approximately $25 for shipping, you’ll receive at least three clothing items from high street stores that have been discounted a generous 50 per cent off RRP. Just fill out a short questionnaire about your sizing and style preferences and in six to eight weeks, the mystery items will arrive at your doorstep. 

Currently delivering to the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, Lost Stock sold 68,000 boxes within its first fortnight. It’s transparent with its pricing breakdown, showing that the product makes up 30 per cent of the cost, 9 per cent of the cost contributes to staff and marketing and its NGO partner, SAJIDA Foundation, who have been donating food and hygiene packages during COVID, receive 37 per cent of the funds.

While this model is to be applauded and has made the best out of a bad situation, it is not a viable, long-term solution. Post-COVID, these workers will still need us. We cannot let unfair remunerations and unsafe working conditions remain the norm. There needs to be a proactive, not a reactive, approach when combating fast fashion.

In the meantime, though, if you’re thinking of purchasing new clothes, Lost Stock is a great way to do so while directly helping those in dire need.

loststock.com

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