I spent the day of my 21st birthday party making my outfit out of a dress my Mum found at the op shop the day before. Why?
Today is the first day of Fashion Revolution week for 2018, and tomorrow will mark the fifth anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse which killed more than 1,000 garment workers in Bangladesh. This tragedy shed light on an industry that is plagued with greed and consumerism- an industry that has forgotten what it’s all about.
Fashion can be powerful. It can be fun, comfortable, expressive, religious, timeless and, it can be a form of identity. Unfortunately, we have been immersed within a business model which tells us fashion is obsolete, disposable, and replaceable. We don’t see the whole model because the majority is hidden behind the developing world’s borders. We only see the sales, and short-lived trends which are too often stolen creativity from other designers. The forced labor, ceaseless waste, poor working conditions- they’re all just pieces of the puzzle we’re told to ignore.
Now is the time we stop ignoring, and start wearing our values. Why would we want to wear a piece of clothing that a person, and an environment, on the other side of the world pays the price for? Why not support ethical brands, shop local, go op-shopping? Why not experiment and try to make our own clothes? There are so many alternatives to “just popping down to Glassons (or Trelise Cooper *named and shamed lol* )to buy a dress”. Get amongst the Revolution of the Fashion Industry, ask brands who their clothes are made by, and let them know that you care how well they can answer that question.
Even easier than that- only buy something if you truly need it. Buy better, not more. There are some incredible resources available, and to make it easy for you I’ve linked some of my faves below.
- Fashion Revolution Movement
- The True Cost Documentary (Available on Netflix)
- Concious Chatter Podcast and Education
- Kow Tow (aka an incredible NZ brand leading the charge)
- Tear Fund
Our cheap clothing is not, and never will be, more important that the rights and wellbeing of our world and its people.