Tomorrow marks the beginning of Fashion Revolution Week, which was called Fashion Revolution Day in 2015. And so today, I wanted to write about an issue that is very different from the ecological cost of the garment industry, but is at the same time is intrinsically related. That is, the human cost.
Fashion Revolution Day came about as a reaction to the Bangladeshi Rana Plaza catastrophe back on April 24, 2013. It hopes to bring awareness around the world about how clothes are made and by whom.
At the very least, Fashion Revolution Week can raise awareness about the production of cheap garments and the human cost of the massive fashion industry. At the most, the people behind Fashion Revolution Week urge each of us to ask of fashion brands and garment corporations, “who made my clothes?”
Human Cost and Environmental Cost
I believe that by using some of the resources that I’ve pointed you to this past week, from buying vintage and second-hand to seeking out eco fashion brands, as well as buying locally made goods produced in small batches by small businesses, you and I can put our dollars towards fashion that doesn’t take advantage of the most vulnerable workers in the fashion supply chain.
Avoiding spending our hard-earned money on brands who employ unethical labor practices can be a way to pressure them. Pressuring brands by asking directly about their supply chain can work as well, if only (as usually happens) to effect lip-service change. However, no matter how much pressure a corporation feels from consumers, they always feel more pressure from their investors and shareholders to made as big a profit margin as possible.
And that’s why it’s so important to be conscious about our fashion choices. The only thing that you and I as consumers can control is what we do with our dollars. And I know that this week, between Eco Fashion Week, Earth Day, and Fashion Day, has made me take a good, hard look at the choices that I make: the brands I support and I feel support me, the trends I follow and the things I like on Instagram, Twitter, and beyond. I’m committed to phasing toxic fashion brands out of my life, and using the resources I’ve curated this week in putting together looks in the future. I hope you’ll join me!
How do you feel about Fashion Revolution Week? Will you take this moment in time to ask brands, “who made my clothes?” Let me know in the comments!