One of the most globally recognized, fast fashion brands H&M, we hear is reportedly closing down the most number of stores in two decades! While this is largely attributed to a worldwide transformation in mindsets and online shopping patterns, the large quantities of unsold stock is what the Swedish brand is trying to liquidate. It also points to a shift, however small, but towards a growing awareness amongst consumers about the “actual” cost of buying into fast fashion and not merely the prices of the clothes they buy and wear. And it is this shift that the Fashion Revolution lends momentum too.
Born on the 23rd of April, 2013, in the aftermath of the fourth largest industrial disaster in history, in Bangladesh, the Fashion Revolution aims to disseminate awareness about the long journey that garments make from farms, weaving units, to store racks. To introduce to the final consumers, of what goes behind creating each shirt and each legging they wear - the idea of sustainable sourcing, fair wages, production and consumption patterns that outtake a toll on our already fragile and overburdened ecosystem.
The impact of fast fashion?
It might come as a surprise to a lot of people but 80% of the 75 million people in
fashion manufacturing industry are women between the ages of 18 and 35 and the
majority of whom still lie under poverty. While that is the perspective of the people
behind it, the products that they make directly affect our environment, and quite often adversely. Even though we don't see it happening in our neighborhood, chemicals used to treat and dye garments end up in our lakes and rivers. What’s more, copious amounts of water is needed to grow and manufacture cotton on an industrial scale.
Shrinking margins, cheaper clothes, fleeting fashion trends are driving consumers like you & me to buy more, regardless of whether one needs it. As a result, more clothes are ending up in landfills and incinerators than ever, further polluting our soil water and air. Which, as we all know is a vicious cycle.
So fashion revolution? Is there more to it besides #whomademyclothes
A Call for Transparency in one of the largest, most saturated, most polluting industries in the world, is an uphill climb. But it is worth it!
• Minimum wages, fair wages, Ethical processes
• Better accountability in small or large enterprises
• Buy local. Fairtrade
• Comfortable work environments, equitable profit sharing
• Upcycling, swapping clothing for conscious usage of fashion
But can a hashtag cleanse it all?
Maybe, maybe not. But every drop in the ocean counts, and in this case every scrap of cloth!
Living in one of the most exciting & engaging times, where social media and viral
campaigns spark off mini-revolutions, we have a movement taking shape. Social media can be credited to driving consumerism, but surprisingly, even responsible consumerism is picking up thanks to growing awareness amongst the urban youth. And with digital brands like us, at Stretchery, where our core values are completely in sync, it is imperative that we speak up!
“When consumers get truly involved with a brand, they talk about it on their own personal platforms. When conscious fashion becomes a conversation between friends, dinner table debates, and boardroom deliberations - that is change. Small, but sure.”
What can you do
Get aware - Find who makes your clothes, where they are made. Conscious consumption means a deeper understanding of the lifecycle of that garment in your wardrobe. If you don't care, who will?
Shop local - Buy from indigenous ethnic individualistic labels that align with fair trade practices, celebrate craft, their own employees and source responsibly.
Prioritise quality over quantity - Buy clothes that give you real value. Consciously choose natural made fabrics, over the low maintenance - synthetic alternatives. Why do you ask? Because they decompose naturally. They don't end up in landfills taking decades to decompose. Look for quality of finishing and fabric. Read your labels, be curious, ask questions, learn more about what drapes over your body.
Sustainability in your shopping criteria - Choose organic over synthetic. Natural over chemical. Be willing to invest in pieces that will endure over the fast fashion choices.
“At the end of the day, people don’t buy clothing to be responsible. They buy clothes to look good, feel trendy and express themselves. They buy into the brand eventually, their style and their philosophy. So if the brand believes in conscious living and responsible production choices while matching their sartorial choices, they will certainly lean towards it. And that is the influence we
hope to have, even if it is one in five...