Her enthusiasm for Firth’s work is obvious. “Livia’s created a lobbying body to put pressure on governments and corporations to encourage them to have [ethical responsibility] as their baseline,” she gushed. “It’s quite awesome.”
“Livia’s created a lobbying body to put pressure on governments and corporations to encourage them to have [ethical responsibility] as their baseline,” Watson gushed.
Watson isn’t a stranger to planet-pandering fashion, of course. In 2010, the erstwhile Hogwarts student designed the first of three apparel collections for fair-trade pioneer People Tree. A year later, Watson parlayed her experience into a series of sustainably produced pieces for Alberta Ferretti.
The concept of sweatshop-produced clothing remains anathema to her. “We don’t support slave labor in this country, so we shouldn’t support those conditions in other countries,” Watson said. “I can’t wrap my head around why ethical clothing is a speciality and not a base standard. Why is it special to have something you know wasn’t made under terrible conditions by a 12-year-old girl for 20 pence an hour?”
Three years before “Rana Plaza” became a shibboleth for the ethical movement, Watson visited the slums of Bangladesh’s capital of Dhaka, where she witnessed firsthand the difference fair trade makes. “I don’t know how to impress upon people the importance of fair trade,” Watson said then. “It is so hard to get people to care and to realize what a huge difference fair trade can make to someone’s life. It really does make all the difference.”