Fashion Revolution: Clothes Shouldn't Be Disposable
Posted on 23 April 2014
You just bought a blouse. You see the brand name, you look at the label, you see that it is made from cotton, silk or polyester. You see where it was made. But do you ask yourself who made your shirt? The answer is that it was most likely put together by an impoverished woman, working up to 17 hours a day, in a factory under poor working conditions who, on average, makes $0.08 cents for every garment she constructed (do the math: How can a t-shirt manufactured across the world only cost $4.99?) Someone is paying for this shirt, and it is often the factory workers.
Exactly one year ago, 1133 people were killed in the Rana Plaza Factory complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Today marks the first Fashion Revolution (day honoring those individuals who lost their lives and the many more who were injured. It is also an initiative that is focused on engaging the entire fashion industry and local communities in an effort to turn fashion into a force for good.
Fashion is a big part of our lives, and the choices we make when we make a purchase matter. Fast fashion is fun and affordable but it is actually harmful. Poor working conditions, low wages, 17 hour days and exploited workers are the norm in factories. There are many more side effects that affect our environment as well: the fashion industry produces 2.5 billion tons of water waste per year. It takes more than 700 gallons of fresh waster to make one cotton t-shirt (to put it into perspective - a typical bath takes 70 gallons). The waste that comes from factories also contributes to toxic pollution, clogs up landfills and contaminates rivers and local water sources with various chemicals and artificial dyes.
What can we do to change this? We have to think about the things that matter: process, quality and transparency from the companies that manufacture our clothes. We need to change our shopping habits and begin to place value on quality over quantity (The average American throws out about 70 pounds of unwanted clothes and shoes per year). We can demand sustainable practices from the brands we shop with by choosing who we support with our dollars. The solution is simple: purchase timeless pieces that will last season after season. Repair when needed. Often, the classic price tag comes out cheaper in the long run.
Fashion Revolution is all about raising awareness. Fashion is a long journey that involves hundreds of people. Discover the stories behind what you wear. Here is how you can learn more about Fashion Revolution:
How to Support Fashion Revolution on April 24, 2014
1. Wear an Item of Clothing Inside Out
2. Photograph Yourself In It
3. Ask Your Brands: Who Made Your Clothes?
4. Share The Picture on Social Media With The Hashtag #insideout
Writer's note: At Take 5 Boutique, we know exactly where each of our garments come from. We work closely with the designers we feature and take pride in carrying shoes, apparel and accessories that are hand-made by both local and international artisans. If you would like to learn more about our designers, please visit: http://take5boutique.com/#designers