It’s easy to purchase the latest trendy outfit from a fast fashion retailer. It’s easy for those brands to release new styles every week at low prices. It’s easy for us to fall into the fast fashion trap of affordability and accessibility. I get it, the temptation is hard to avoid.
I, like most twenty-something-year-old girls, love shopping. I like having options and I like to express myself in my choice of clothing. I know, it’s cliché – but it’s true. I admit, I was one of those shoppers that would purchase from fast fashion brands and even high street brands, not knowing the impact that had on someone else in another country.
The sad reality is that while I enjoy that fluffy grey jumper that I bought online for $20, a young woman probably the same age as me, is being exploited because I contributed to the fast fashion cycle.
I guess in the back of my mind I knew about it, but I didn’t want to think about it. After all, those people affected did not know me and I did not know them.
After reading about Fashion Revolution and Fashion Revolution Week, I felt guilty. I only found out about this incredible organisation this year. I wish I had known sooner.
Fashion Revolution is a not-profit organisation founded by fashion designers Carry Somers and Orsola de Castro. When the largest and deadliest garment factory collapse occurred in 2013, these two women decided it was time for a change.
On 24th April 2013, a five-story commercial building known as Rana Plaza in Savar Upazila of Dhaka District, Bangladesh, collapsed. This was the fourth largest industrial disaster, killing 1,138 people and injuring 2,500. Most of these victims were young women between the ages of 18-35.
The owners of this building were alerted a day earlier that the building was unsafe. Cracks emerged on the walls and ceiling of the building, frightening the employees. The owners ignored these warning signs and demanded staff to continue working.
As a result of this tragedy, Fashion Revolution was born and now, five years on, it has become a global movement. The organisation has joined people from all over the world to unite and use their power of fashion to demand change. Fashion Revolution aims to transform the way fashion is made, sources and consumed.
Every year on the anniversary of the tragedy, Fashion Revolution commemorates the lives lost with Fashion Revolution Week. This year Fashion Revolution Week runs from 23 to 29 April. During this week, people are encouraged to ask their favourite fashion brand, “who made my clothes?” The organisation needs our help to urge brands to be transparent on where their products are made.
Transparency in the fashion industry is key. It will help us, consumers of fashion, make more ethical and environmentally friendly choices. With the rise of veganism and cruelty free makeup, it seems that more people are leaning toward a more compassionate lifestyle. Why can’t we do the same with fashion?
The easiest, yet most important message to take from this campaign is to be cautious of where you are shopping from. We have the power to stop this disaster from ever occurring again. Research the brands you like before you continue to purchase from them and limit fast fashion indulgences. After all, they only are on trend for a week.