If you didn’t know already from my About Me page, or my Instagram, I’m an ethical and sustainable fashion enthusiast. Fashion Revolution Week 2020 is going digital due to COVID-19 and is all about ethical and sustainable fashion. Today, we ask: “Why a Fashion Revolution?“
Our favourite fashion brands are problematic. It took me a while to internalize this. I knew brands like H&M, Primark, Asos, New Look, Forever 21 and SO many other brands were fast-fashion retailers. But I simply ignored this.
After the worldwide news about the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013, the Fashion Revolution movement started as a response. It was only last year that I genuinely wanted to educate myself it.
What exactly is fast fashion, you might ask?
“Fast fashion is simply a term used by fashion retailers to describe clothes that are inspired by recent style trends seen on celebrities and on the runway for an affordable price for the average consumer. Because of how fast retailers need to keep up with demands for these styles, they often cut costs that increase their carbon footprint.” ~ Green Matters
Our favourite fast fashion brands are problematic because they contribute to discrimination and the destruction of the earth.
This sounds very dramatic, but hear me out:
– Fast fashion is the second-largest polluter in the world, after oil
– Fast fashion exploits people through cheap labour, making them produce many pieces of clothing in sweatshops
– Many sweatshop workers work for very long hours of the day, only getting around $3 (yes, a day) while in poor working conditions
– Many women who work in sweatshops experience sexual harassment and discrimination and also have reported that they don’t have the right to maternity leave
– Fast fashion steals designs/ideas from independent artists
– Because of new trends, we throw away so many of our old clothing which ends up in landfills
This is why we need a Fashion Revolution. We need to call for fashion brands to have safe working environments for garment workers and to be transparent.
There are so many other reasons why fast fashion contributes to so many horrible things. If you want to learn more, watch this video which explains it in 5 minutes. All this information would truly hit you when you watch The True Cost.
So what’s the next step?
Getting involved in Fashion Revolution Week is a great way to understand more and inspire others. There’s hashtags, blog posts and online conferences going on throughout the week! In terms of our own fashion pieces, throwing all our clothes from fast fashion shops would do more harm than good. But reusing them more is a great way to start! Buying pieces from ethical stores, thrift stores and Depop are ways we can ensure that our clothes weren’t directly bought from fast-fashion retailers.
I don’t want to sound preachy or intimidating about this issue and I don’t want to make it seem like I’m shaming and judging people who buy fast fashion. All I want to do is highlight the seriousness of fast fashion as I think it’s is crucial to make a difference in people’s thoughts on their shopping habits. Obviously, nobody’s perfect, but understanding why we need a Fashion Revolution is a start!
Want to join the Fashion Revolution?
If you want to know and understand more, check out the Fashion Revolution website here.
Also, check out Fashion Revolution Week with The Quirky Environmentalist here!