What is Fashion Revolution?
Fashion Revolution is a fashion activism movement that was founded with the intention of prioritising the environment and people, over growth and profit. The Fashion Revolution movement was founded following the Rana Plaza disaster, where an eight-story building collapsed, killing 1,134 people with many of which being garment workers. This disaster emphasised the inhumane and awful working conditions that so many garment workers across the globe experience, all to create cheap clothing for our consumption. Fashion Revolution work towards amplifying the voices and experiences of garment workers, but they also work towards conserving resources and ecosystems that are damaged as a result of the fashion industry.
Fashion Revolution also intend to educate and raise awareness of the systematic challenges facing the global fashion industry. This will not only make more people aware of the corruption and inhumane practices that go into creating our clothing, but it will also make individuals consider where and who they are buying their clothes from.
Fashion Revolution Week takes place from the 19thto the 25thof April annually, to commemorate the anniversary of the 2013 Rana Plaza collapse. Following the #PayUp movement, and the mass-consumption of cheap clothing that has been happening due to COVID19, thinking about the origins and journey of the clothing we buy is more important than ever.
Why is Fashion Revolution important?
As consumers, we should know where our clothing comes from, and not only that, but who is responsible for making our clothing. Multi national corporations and brands use cheap labour and environmentally damaging processes to create their clothing. Fashion Revolution aim to end human and environmental exploitation in the global fashion industry by ensuring safe, dignified working conditions and living wages for all garment workers, as well as encouraging the global fashion industry to conserve precious resources and regenerate ecosystems.
Of course, all of these aims are on a bigger, global level, but Fashion Revolution also aim to change the way consumers think about their clothing. It is important that we not only raise awareness of the societal and environmental damage that is caused by the fashion industry, but we must also speak out and act against it in order for change to happen. It is also important that consumers demonstrate these feelings through their shopping habits. By consuming less from corrupt brands and companies, the fashion industry will hopefully change their practices for the better. This will not only benefit the garment workers, but will also benefit the environment and will therefore also benefit us.
What Can I Do as a Consumer?
- Think Before You Buy
Before you buy an item, think about where that item has come from - why is it cheap or why ISN’T it cheap. Cheap items (e.g. fast fashion) tend to have been made unethically, whereas sustainable items that cost a bit more are priced regarding sustainable materials, ethical and safe workplaces and living wages for garment workers. However, this isn’t always the case with some companies greenwashing to seem ethical, when they really aren’t. This is why it’s always important to research the brands and companies you buy from if you aren’t sure about the history of the clothes you’re buying.
- Think in the Long Run
Think before you buy any item of clothing – will I wear this 30 times? And not only that, but will the quality of this piece allow me to wear it 30 times without it falling to pieces? Though the number of people who are shopping ethically is gradually increasing, there is still an issue with over-consumption. Even if you buy your clothing from sustainable brands, constantly purchasing and wearing new pieces isn’t ethical if those pieces are one-off ‘trendy’ pieces that will soon be re-sold, donated, or thrown away.
Instead, try to fill your closet with essential pieces that you really love and that you know you’ll want to wear at least 30 times. Sustainable and ethical fashion doesn’t have to be expensive, as we prove here at Sancho’s. If you really want to embrace a fully sustainable approach towards clothing, why not try a capsule wardrobe? A capsule wardrobe is a collection of high-quality, essential items, and can be styled in lots of different ways throughout the year. Having a refined collection of clothing will lead to less consumption, and really treasuring the items you own.
- Shop Responsibly
By researching the brands you buy from, you will gain an understanding of which brands are ethical, and which aren’t. Shopping from sustainable and ethical brands is not only contributing towards a better future for the fashion industry, but it also encourages less sustainable brands who mass-produce, to re-consider their practices. Whilst it’s true that producers and fashion brands have a responsibility to produce responsibly, we as consumers are also responsible for the items we buy, whilst understanding our own personal privilege and what it is we can do as an individual. This is different for everyone, so do what you can, where you can.
How do Sancho’s participate in Fashion Revolution Week?
By only selling ethical products that are made using sustainable materials, we value people and the planet above profit, and use our resources to educate and raise awareness about sustainability. We are committed to natural and quality materials that won’t further damage the planet, as well as safe working conditions and fair wages for those who make our products.
To show solidarity with Fashion Revolution, we would usually hold a series of events and workshops during Fashion Revolution Week. Unfortunately, this year due to COVID we are unable to do so. However, we will continue to raise awareness of the Fashion Revolution movement by sharing resources and information on our social media.
We’re also continuing to share information over on our blog! Here are some pieces we think are worth reading in solidarity with Fashion Revolution Week :
- Uyghur Forced Labour
- How Much of What We Consume is Produced by Slave Labour?
- Venture Capitalism in Sustainable Fashion
- What’s Happening at BooHoo?
- Why Should I Buy Ethically Made Clothes?
- Our Favourite Ethical Plus-Size Clothing Brands
- Why Does Supporting Black Business Help in the Fight Against Racism?
- How Fashion and Racism are Intrinsically Linked
- 3 Reasons Why Sustainable Fashion is Important
There’s plenty of other enlightening and educational pieces over on our Sancho’s blog.
Make sure to follow us on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with Fashion Revolution Week.
Shop New In at Sancho’s here.
Written by Megan Finch
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