Germans buy on average sixty items of clothing per person per year. These clothes are usually produced under very poor working conditions. Mercator alumna Andrea Schill explores the question of how working conditions in the textile and clothing industry can be sustainably improved.

The political scientist first came into contact with the textile and clothing industry during an internship in the Asia department of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. The tragic accident in the textile factory in Bangladesh in the year 2013 made it conclusively clear to her that she wanted to contribute to a fairer fashion world.

As a fellow in the "Mercator Kolleg", Andrea visited textile factories in Myanmar and Cambodia in 2018. She wanted to find out what the workers needed on site and which actors can be involved in implementing improvements. She spoke with locals about employment protection, minimum wage, safety at work and paid leave. Meanwhile, she continues to pursue her goal of making the clothing business more equitable as a consultant for social standards and corporate due dilligence.

In the interview with AufRuhr magazine, Andrea talks about her career, the experiences during her Mercator Fellowship and how we can all shop with a better conscience.

Want to learn more about our alumna? Continue reading in AufRuhr - Die Fairhandlerin (in German).


Photo Credit: ©Reinaldo Coddou