It’s Fashion Revolution Week, so I thought I would take a minute to share why I started caring about who made my clothes.
A little over a year ago, my eyes were opened to the fast fashion industry. One documentary (The True Cost - Netflix!) and tons of articles later, I couldn’t ignore it. It has affected so many of my decisions since then.
Here are 3 reasons that why I started caring about who made my clothes and where they came from.
- The realization that somewhere in the world, there are real people making my clothes. What are their lives like? Are they getting paid fairly? Do they work reasonable hours? There is a reason why you can get clothes so cheap. Costs have been cut somewhere. As the fashion revolution website describes it, “The majority of the people who makes clothes live in poverty, unable to afford life’s basic necessities. Many are subject to exploitation; verbal and physical abuse, working in unsafe and dirty conditions, with very little pay.” These are real people.
- Fashion is the second highest polluting industry in the world, second only to oil. The details are vast and difficult for me to explain. But, as the demand for faster fashion increases, the bigger the problem is becoming. This isn't just damaging the earth but the people that are involved in creating all of the materials as well. You can read more details about it here.
- What I spend my money on is what I choose to invest in. I get to choose where I spend my money! What a crazy thought! No one says I have to shop at certain places. If I’m going to buy something, I want to further companies that I believe in, not the other way around. It’s not just what items I choose to purchase, but what companies I choose to support.
I know I'm just one person but I realized that by participating in the fast fashion industry, I was feeding the ugly monster.
I love this quote from Simon Parry in his article written just last June, “You [we] are supporting the culture of cheap products. When customers say, 'I will only buy a sustainable product that has been made responsibly,' the entire supply chain will change, because the market rules. It is the customer who is the king.”
It hasn’t been easy to only shop at stores that I can back or buy clothes that have been made responsibly. Of course I haven’t done it 100% of the time. But it has changed the way I view shopping entirely. In my next blog post, I’ll share a few of my new favorite ethical companies that I like to shop at now. I encourage everyone to take time to think about how your purchases go beyond just buying something - that they effect real people's lives.
Fashion Revolution Week was started after the Rana Plaza incident to shed light on the fashion industry. “Much of the global fashion industry is opaque, exploitative and environmentally damaging and desperately needs revolutionary change. We love fashion, but we don’t want our clothes to come at the cost of people or the planet.” Other articles around the Rana Plaza incident: here and here