The Behind the Seams Team work on raising awareness about the consequences of the environmental impact of the garment industry and the social and health implications inflicted on the people in the third world as a consequence of the garment industry. We guide producers in how to keep on the straight and narrow seam when producing in the developing countries. We also help consumers make informed decisions regarding ethical purchases by raising awareness about the environmental and social consequences of the fashion industry and by giving them access to a peek behind the seams. Our team and staff is presented here. Who we are, what we do and our social networks, connect with us.

RUHAN SHAMA

“It’s important that companies act with due diligence regarding their corporate responsibility.Due diligence implies more than just an assessment of risks for the company. Now it’s important for the Brands producing in the third world to carry out their CSR-programs not for just an “eye wash”. Due diligence demands companies to see to it that future violations of human rights are prevented and that adverse impacts are mitigated. Now it is the time for the Brands to truly focus on their responsibilities to defend and improve the rights for all people working in the global garment industry.”

Shama, completed her M.S.S on Sociology from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh in the year 2010. She has been working on Environment Friendly Livable Cities and healthy living programs and as a Social Compliance Auditor in Bangladesh since 2005.

“Bangladesh’s garment industry is characterized by fast production relying on cheap labor and low production costs that regularly churns out poverty wages, exhausting working hours, and abusive working conditions. That gradually rob workers of their health and vitality, and sometimes produces dramatic deadly events like fires and building collapses. Many workplaces fail to adhere to the most basic standards of health and safety. This project is launched to raise awareness about the social and environmental impact on the third world caused by the global garment and fashion industry.”

Ruhan Shama is head of our office in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

RIKKE SCHMIDT KJÆRGAARD

“How do we make a sustainable future? First step is to think people and nature together – and act on it. We don’t see the processes that make our everyday life work. We depend upon people and natural resources unknown and invisible to us. The problem is not that we forget. The problem is that we don’t know what makes our lives seamless. I am dedicated to giving a voice to those who have none. To making sure that every vote counts and to make sure that those who can will know how to give that little extra that would make a big difference. That’s why I work to take you Behind the Seams!”
Rikke Schmidt Kjærgaard is an expert on data visualization and molecular animation, and has an international background from the University of Cambridge, Harvard Medical School and Aarhus University. She has a PhD in science communication, and degrees in mathematics and art history. In 2012 she was elected as a member of the Young Academy under the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters. She is co-founder of Graphicure, a company dedicated to empower patients with intuitive visual tools, and the Science Club, a mentorship network for students and young adults with a special interest in how science contributes to understanding and dealing with the major challenges in nature and society. Rikke has an extensive experience in putting ideas into action, knowing the value of a diverse network, and working towards sustainable solutions. She strongly believes in progress through diversity: “Surround yourself with people who thinks differently than you. Challenge the obvious and look for the unexpected.”

Rikke Scmidt Kjærgaard is executive director.

ADAM MORRIS PHILP

”The impact of the fashion industry on the environment is enormous. I saw it with my own eyes in Dhaka, Bangladesh while I was filming a documentary on life in megacities. A large part of industrial water pollution comes from textile dyeing and treatment and synthetic chemicals are used throughout the world to turn raw materials into textiles, many of which will be released into freshwater sources.”

Adam Morris Philp graduated as a Cinematographer from The National Film School of Denmark in 2001 and has since then worked on numerous film projects around the world. Adam is partner in the agency Move Copenhagen raising awareness about social and environmental issues.

”On one hand we love fashion and the way we use clothing to express who we are. On the other hand the world’s resources cannot simply keep up with our increasing demand for throw-away fashion. This is indeed the dilemma we all need to consider. This project is a tribute to diversity in how we dress but it is also a reminder that we are all a part of this global problem. If we as consumers demand sustainable products the industry has to change in order to survive. We are all in charge of the future.”

Adam Morris Philp is co-founder of Behind the Seams.

SIMON de TUSCH-LEC

With a mission to provide a better understanding of how people behave and create innovative and compelling ways of reaching them Simon de Tusch-Lec established the creative bureau Move Copenhagen back in 2002. ”Our goal is to improve society by designing and implementing creative advertising campaigns that achieve high levels of community education, self-efficacy and beneficial behavior change.” Simon has an academic background in media and political science and draws on behavioral psychology in his work as the creative force of the agency.

”It’s a sobering fact that most of the retail clothing available today is made by people who lack basic worker’s rights. The result is inexpensive clothing that is marketed in retail stores throughout the world. But while the cost of these items may be lower dollar-wise, the price paid by humanity is immeasurable. Do I actually assume responsibility for those in China or Bangladesh who make it possible for me to choose what to wear when I buy clothes? No, not really.  Why is that? With this initiative we want to examine the blind spot in our moral compass that allows us to buy clothes produced under suffering.”

Simon de Tusch-Lec is co-founder of Behind the Seams.