“Uploading a picture of a fast fashion item that is really cheap, much cheaper than it should be on my blog is basically like Bono at a U2 concert picking up the microphone and saying to the audience of 100.000 people: forget the human rights – buy cheap clothing.” – Madeleine Alizadeh.
Case 1 : Pictures from my visit to a clothing factory in India. Being in this space was inspiring. People took pride in their work, proudly showed off their finished product, were eager to answer questions, forced me to take pictures of that orange skirt they just finished stitching, … I would love to own a piece from here.
Case 2 : A picture from my visit to a sweatshop in India. This place crams in 100 workers in sweltering heat. I know for a fact that they don’t get a living wage. I am not fighting for them all to lose their jobs but for them to have better working conditions. The brands should be held responsible for what goes on in their supply chain. If a few of us stop buying from a fast fashion store, it hardly makes any difference. They have the big numbers, ad campaigns and PR departments. But if we ask them #whoMadeMyClothes, I think after 10,000 such messages, they might take notice ?
Any awareness I have on this issue, I owe it to the blogging community. My favorite change makers and pot stirrers:
Alden from Ecocult ( the firecracker )
Erin from My Green Closet ( The Zen warrior )
Ariana from Paris to go ( The sarcastic poet )
Erin from Reading My Tea Leaves ( The tireless crusader )
Justine ( Jedi Fashion Designer )
Christine ( Too wise for her age )
Alli Cherry ( The doe-eyed eco Bambi )
Raising awareness for the cause.
After hiding behind my blog for years, I finally gathered the courage to speak to a bunch of my closest friends about fast fashion. There were immediate protests.
“It’s just clothes and I can’t think about them given how busy I am.”
“No one should spend more than 10$ on a t-shirt. That’s just stupid. “
“I don’t buy a lot. I have an insignificant contribution.”
” I don’t want to spend the money.”
” Show me a 100% ethically made t-shirt and we can have this conversation. “
” I donate to charities. Just don’t want to give money to your cause. “
“Don’t have the time to research before I buy.”
” The wages that Bangladeshi workers get is what they deserve. It’s survival of the fittest …”
” I hate shopping. You want me to spend more time and money on it ? “
All of which are valid perspectives. I have said these words myself in the past. That conversation happened a year ago. The ideas marinated and we all had the time to think about it some more. As circumstances changed or when it was time for the next purchase, we collectively made some good decisions. One of my friends started a clothing swap at every girls night out. The price of entry is to bring one garment. Another girlfriend of mine hasn’t bought anything in the last 5 months because she is turned off by fast fashion and doesn’t have the time to research new brands. Few of my friends started second-hand shopping because they see me in nice clothes that are affordable. Even the ones who didn’t change their habits, are now aware of what goes on in the supply chain and empathize with the cause. Some of them pledged to look into it in the future when their financial circumstances changed … It has definitely been an education for all of us involved … Sometimes, asking the right questions is as important as the answers themselves. Even if we can’t do anything about it, the knowledge should be shared. Ignorance is not a bliss in this day and age, it’s harmful.
Again, thank you Fashion Revolution Week ! You have had an impact on me and the wheel is turning forward.