Did you know that approximately 75-million people work to create 150-billion items of clothing every year? In the last few decades, the fashion industry has become remarkably larger with production demands becoming faster, increasingly driven by trends and fed by consumer’s insatiable appetite for the “latest”; but at what cost? “Have you ever wondered who made your clothes? How much they’re paid, and what their lives are like?”, the Fashion Revolution movement asks.
The industry itself is not the only thing that needs to change, how we think about and consume clothing also needs to change – that’s where Fashion Revolution steps in. The movement prompts people to show their clothing labels and ask brands/retailers/manufacturers, #whomademyclothes, in order to promote sustainable and ethical fashion practices, encourage transparency, and celebrate fashion as a positive influence in the lives of not only the people who consume fashion, but also those who create it.
“As citizens and consumers — our questions, our voices, our shopping habits can have the power to help change things for the better. We are the driver of trends. Every time we buy something, we’re voting with our wallet. When we speak, brands and governments listen”, the Fashion Revolution states.
International Fashion Revolution Day is on 24 April 2018. Fashion Revolution Week, which is in its 5th year running, started as a reaction to the disaster at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh - whereby a factory building collapsed and 1,138 people lost their lives - marking it as one of the worst and deadliest industry disasters and highlighting the poor working conditions that are faced by these workers, in the name of garment production. Now, the movement has an active presence in over 100 countries, including South Africa.
The Fashion Revolution is all about using your voice to catalyse change. Here’s how you can be part of the revolution:
1. Ask brands/retailers/manufacturers, #whomademyclothes on Instagram, Twitter or by email.
2. Try the #haulternative challenge —refresh your wardrobe without buying new clothes by shopping secondhand, swapping with a friend, and DIY customisation.
3. Instead of shopping for new clothes, fall back in love with the clothes you already own and write and share a love letter about an item of clothing that means a lot to you.
4. Write a letter to brands/retailers/manufacturers.