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This week is Fashion Revolution Week, which for those of you who don’t know is an ethical fashion week when we as consumers demand more from clothing brands by asking “who made my clothes?”
The idea is simple, by finding out where our clothes come from, we can call brands out on damaging and exploitative practices. We as buyers have the money, and money is power. By supporting brands who abide by good, safe and sustainable practice we can start a fashion revolution and promote ethical fashion.
Why Ethical Fashion?
I am a huge believer in sustainable and ethical fashion. As a result, I haven’t bought new clothes in over 3 years to try and reduce the environmental impact of my wardrobe. As a dressmaker and seamstress I know the craft and the skill that goes into making clothes, so to see clothes mass produced at unbelievably cheap prices makes me incredibly sad. I know that someone somewhere is being cheated and I will safely bet it isn’t the big guy in the boardroom.
Our fellow human beings are suffering and dying as a result of fast fashion. If you think I’m exaggerating then perhaps I will remind you that 5 years ago today 1,138 people died when the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Bangladesh. They were mostly young women working in garment factories. Thousands more were injured. How can the industry that I am a part of think that is acceptable?
And so I try and advocate change. I try my hardest to live everyday in line with my beliefs and only buy secondhand clothes. That way my money is not directly funding people who think it is okay to force people to work in unsafe conditions, for exhausting hours and very little pay. But even so, the clothes were still made in those factories. The toxic chemicals were still used and are still polluting water systems. And so I still demand change.
“But what can we do about? Can we actually make a difference? What’s the point?”
Well first of all positive vibes only thank you very much. And I already told you, we have the money, we have the power.
Fashion Revolution have a whole load of ideas to help make a difference. The first is a very simple letter writing campaign. You can use the template on their website to send an email to your favourite brands and ask them #whomademyclothes?
Also as the hashtag suggests you can get involved on Instagram and Twitter. Turn your clothes inside out to show the label and tag the brand to ask them “Who made my clothes?”
That’s just what I have done. Take a look below. Get involved in the revolution and together we can make a difference.