April 30, 2018

The Fashion Revolution

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Fashion Revolution is a global movement calling for greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry and this last week was Fashion Revolution Week. So were you asking the question; who made my clothes?

This week marks the the 5th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1,138 clothing manufacturer workers back in 2013. The Fashion Revolution encourages all consumers to ask brands #whomademyclothes and demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain.

Fashion industry icons and ethical fashion warriors have come out in support of the campaign, but this is a movement that urges every clothing consumer to get involved. Last year the organisation saw 2 million people engage with Fashion Revolution Week in April through events, posting on social media, viewing videos or downloading resources from the website. 66,000 people attended around 1000 events for the cause including catwalks, clothes swaps, film screenings, panel discussions, creative stunts and workshops. But with a growing trend in fast fashion retailers and a society shifting more and more towards overconsumption, there’s still much more work to be done.

This year, the campaign saw young leaders take the step forward as the faces of the revolution to advocate for smarter consumer choices. Here’s advice from some of the young (and wise) faces of the campaign.

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Grace Fairweather: English student, blogger, model, and freelance writer.

“One of the great things about Fashion Revolution is that, as an organisation, they champion multiplicity. My slow fashion journey has taught me that there is no one-way to live sustainably and any path you do take has its own complications, moral and otherwise.

“Equip yourself with knowledge! Knowledge will be your best tool in deciding which green path is right for you. Watch the True Cost, read newspaper articles on the current state and statistics of fast fashion, and keep up-to-date with Fashion Revolution. My own journey was a slow one and you don’t have to do anything earth-shattering to be a part of the revolution. Making the decision not to shop fast fashion for 3 months, a month, even a week is a great start and will make more difference to your life and the lives of others than you realise.”

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Rachel Callender: Fashion design student in menswear at Central Saint Martins.

“When buying ‘new’ items for your wardrobe, start at a second-hand shop! Try  ’boutique’ charity shops if you don’t want to work too hard to find something beautiful, as they offer a more curated selection of garments.

“But I have personally found the best garments at the jumble sale style shops! You just have to be willing to look long and hard, but when you do you can snag yourself a bargain for your toil. Repairing loved garments, instead of throwing them away if they become damaged by darning and patching, can actually make them look even better and gives character to clothes. I personally love sashiko stitched patches to revive tired clothes.”

While Fashion Revolution Week may be over, the impact of the fashion industry – both ethically and sustainably – is an issue that each and every one of us need to consider when we make our purchases. Fashion is an incredible part of the world we live in. It has the potential to create fair job opportunities, and offer a sense of identity to every person that gets dressed in the morning. But we need to do it the right way and we need to make the change now.

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