Raise your hand if you know exactly where and by whom the clothes you’re wearing are made. Anyone? No hands? It’s understandable and, sadly, expected nowadays. If you think about it, how many of us do know that information about garments we buy and wear? In this modern age of fast living, fast food and even faster fashion, we can’t be blamed if such minor details pass us by, right? Wrong. As we have learned from the past two years (or, forever), those things considered tiny in out first world society are actually much bigger issues for those on the other side. We’ve all read tragic stories of people being injured or losing lives due to inhumane working conditions in clothing industry. It’s about time we stop shutting our eyes before this snowballing problem and make a change.
I feel like many take clothes for granted. Our approach to clothing is extremely superficial, rated on a scale of how pretty it looks. Do we ever stop to think how that item got into our closets in the first place? Where was it made? Who cut the pattern? Who stitched the pieces together? Who produced the fabric? Who picked the cotton? The behind-the-scenes part of the story is well hidden and rarely spoken of, while designers, brands, shops, runway shows and promotional parties are brought to the forefront. Why? Because we want glamour. We want beautiful things and we don’t care about the rest as long as we can show off our new ‘totes gorg’ bag to our girlfriends and brag about it to our social media audience. No one thinks about fashion above level one. No one cares about the farmers who grow cotton, the pickers, the weavers, the dyers, the pattern-makers, the sewers – even though they are the main reason we are dressed today. A designer may have thought of that beautiful gown, but those “background people” made it come to life.
Something must and can be done. Each of us can take a small step towards raising awareness and educating ourselves. Stop feeding into consumerism. Minimize your needs. Do your research. Look at the labels. Find out more about the brands’ ethics. Re-use, accept hand-me-downs. Buy vintage and second-hand clothes. Think and act. Change your perspective. Become more conscious about the world and the environment you live in. Head over to the Fashion Revolution website and learn ways you can change the fashion world, today.
Also, next time you see a “totally cute and trendy shirt”, do the world a favor and think about whether anyone slaved over it before you head to the register and give your contribution to someone’s death.
The sweatshirt I’m wearing in the photos above is second-hand. Sadly, the labels were cut off before it got into my hands so I cannot tell you who made it