On 24 April 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed. 1,138 people died and another 2,500 were injured, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history.
There were five garment factories in Rana Plaza all manufacturing clothing for big global brands. The victims were mostly young women.
From BBC –
This week has dubbed Fashion Revolution Week to challenge how we think about buying clothes and what impact the fashion industry has on people and the planet.
www.fashionrevolution.org has tons of information, advice and how to get involved with the movement.
Fashion has changed so much in the last 20 years and fast fashion has now become the norm.
How many items have you bought in the last month? How much did you pay for them? Did you think about the people who made them or what materials they are made from?
Lauren Bravo makes a good point in this article about her own fashion diet, that we often spends lots of money on meals out, takeaways and coffees in a month but we have a set limit in our head about the price we’d pay for a single item of clothing and then spend more by buying multiple cheaper items.
For many years now I have tried to be more conscious of the ethics of the shops I buy clothes in and there are certain shops I won’t buy from because of practices I know about or simply by thinking if that item is that cheap to me the consumer how much is the person that made that garment earning.
Since the beginning of 2016 I have been “No New Clothes” sourcing as much as I can second hand from charity shops, vintage shops and on eBay. Even though I am buying my clothes second hand I don’t try to buy a lot of clothes. This is not a habit I have had to change as I’ve never really been into retail therapy and tend to just buy something when I need it.
As a vegan I don’t wear clothes from fabrics made from animal products (fur, leather, wool, silk) some of which involve quite complex processing methods using chemicals which aren’t good for the workers or the planet. This means I wear either synthetic fabrics or plant based ones such as cotton and linen. This Fashion Revolution Week I’ve been thinking about the fabric I wear. As I only buy second hand does it matter that I wear synthetics? These products are already in existence and I am reusing them and preventing them from ending up in landfill. On the other hand (and I use this argument against wearing fur, real or faux) am I perpetuating the view that these fabrics are fine and we should be making use of them? I think it’s something I’m really going to consider when making future purchases.
When buying plant based you can also seek out organic options which means chemical pesticides haven’t been used on the plants and are healthier for the workers and the planet.
You can search the hashtags #whomademyclothes and #imadeyourclothes on social media to find more stories on this issue.
Craftivist Collective have started a new campaign in support of Fashion Revolution, Mini Fashion Statements are thought provoking messages that you write on scrolls, tie with ribbons and pop into the pockets of clothes in shops for customers to find.
Bourgeois Boheme currently have a pop-up in The Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane showcasing their line of shoes which are made from pinatex, a newly engineered fabric that replicates leather but is made from fibres from the leaves of pineapple plants.
From their instagram feed –
What do you think about your own shopping habits? Do you think you should make some changes or would you like to? Let me know in the comments below.