Fashion Revolution: #whomademyclothes
Be a part of the Fashion Revolution in Michigan
April 29th, 2017 6-9pm
Allen Market Place
1611 E. Kalamazoo St.
Lansing MI, 48912
The Fashion Revolution is a global movement encouraging transparency, company responsibility, and sustainability within the fashion industry. Remember the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh back in 2013? Over 1,000 people making western clothing died, most of them women and children. Or in 2012, when there was a fire in a Pakistani factory where people were locked inside? Over 300 people died. I do not bring this up to make people feel guilty or sad at the state of the world, but to show that how we consume must change. Fortunately, our consumption can change and is changing as the culture of buying is evolving. Consumers are more often holding companies accountable due to organizations such as Fashion Revolution that are uncovering and bringing awareness to the real cost of clothing production. I often think that because I am only one person, I can’t pick up all the litter or change policy for the common good; there is only power in numbers. But when it comes to the personal act of exchanging money for an item, there is a lot of power in where I put my hard-earned cash.
Fair trade, transparency, direct supply chains, corporate responsibility, shared profits, low-impact; they all matter. When I put my money into businesses and products that have an ethical conscience, change happens and revolution begins.
The Fashion Revolution is an organization based in the UK that developed as a response to the Rana Plaza collapse. Their global campaign on Instagram tags clothing companies asking them #whomademyclothes to encourage putting a face and a person to the product. So much of the time, especially in the case of fast fashion, clothes are made cheaply and quickly to get to the consumer. In my mind, expedited usually means more expensive: quick turnarounds take more immediate energy. However, you don’t see brands such as Forever 21’s prices reflect that - so who pays? It’s certainly not the consumer or the brand company. It’s the factories and the makers that work there who don’t get a living wage, benefits, or decent working conditions.
I realize I am listing many problems, so what are some solutions?
1. Ask questions like #whomademyclothes and see if anyone responds with #imadeyourclothes.
2. Love the clothes you already have - mend, restyle, trade (or get a styling session with me)!
3. Be a Craftivist - make pins, patches, or art to show you care.
4. Write to policy makers and ask them to demand transparency for clothing companies.
5. Seek after and buy artisan and startup designer clothes. I have noticed a number of startups forming in response to the desire to do business better and more ethically. They are truly the change they want to see.
Check out fashionrevolution.org for more resources.
AND a great thanks to the designers, academics, writers, business leaders, policy makers, brands, retailers, marketers, producers, makers, workers, and fashion lovers for coming together to create a beautiful and cohesive movement of change!