Fashion Revolution Day marks the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 24, 2013, which killed 1,134 garment workers, most of them female, and injured more than 2,500 more.
Be honest with me. Do these figures really affect you?
They’re shocking and horrific, sure, but once you’ve said your “awes” and “that’s so sad” what else? What next? It’s hard to really, truly know what happened on April 24, 2013 during that awful event. We can only be so sad and affected before we’re called back to our present realities and off to the next thing.
I’m Angela, founder of the blog Sasstainable and I’m participating in Fashion Revolution Week – a global movement that’s turning fashion into a force for good. I’ve swapped blogs with the stylish fair fashion maven, Malorie Bertrand of EF Magazine and founder of the forthcoming shop, EITHER/OR. Read her Fashion Revolution blog post for Sasstainable here. To take part in this year’s Fashion Revolution Day on April 24th, we’re sharing our #haulternative Fashion Revolution stories. We’re refreshing our wardrobes and style without buying new clothes (may my wallet rejoice, namaste). My fashion #haulternative is a love story. I’m committing to loving what I already own, and only buying pieces that I can get at least #30wears out of, just like Eco-Age champion Livia Firth suggests.
Here’s the thing: I actually like buying new clothes. I find it difficult to shop vintage and I’m a reluctant slow fashion adherent due to my tendency toward newness (if I’m going to be totally honest). And we’re being honest with ourselves, right? Over the last year I worked in retail, surrounded by the constant hum of fresh fashion and the consumer impulse to “need” more. And I gave in. A lot. But fashion newness is a fallacy. High turnover fashion is what led to the deaths of 1,133 people on April 24, 2013 when the Rana Plaza building in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed, injuring more than 2,500 people. It is the fourth largest industrial disaster in history, and most of the victims were young women, like you and me. That’s why we’re coming together this week around the world to create change. We can do better. I can do better.
I’m taking steps to become more conscious in my shopping choices and fall in love with the fashion I already own. Did you know that the average British woman hoards nearly $600-worth of unworn clothing in her closet? $600 of clothes that she will never use. I would laugh if it wasn’t so sad and, quite frankly, so stupid that we’re hoarding so many clothes that we won’t ever fully appreciate. They’re just hanging there taking up precious space in our lives. I’m guilty of this. The super sale item you snatch up even though it’s two sizes too small? The shoes that pinch your feet but look oh-so-pretty for the nano second you can stand walking around in them? All the clothes you had when you were younger/bigger/smaller/sadder, etc. We hang on, but hold out on experiencing the real joy of style, in the pursuit of simplicity.
Vivienne Westwood said, “Buy less, choose well. Make it last.” That’s exactly what I’ve done with my People Tree
dress, designed by fashion designer Zhandra Rhodes. It’s from London, one of my favourite cities in the world. This is a perfect dress for me – lightweight with a great print, and pockets! I love a dress with pockets. I will easily wear this dress 30 times (currently four times and counting). And it’s so chic to repeat, when it comes to style. I’m excited to wear my favourite pieces time and time again. Fall back in love with the things you already own, and join us in the Fashion Revolution. Be curious. Find out. Do something, and ask #whomademyclothes?
Join me on Twitter @Sasstainable on April 24th at 2 p.m. where I’ll be tweeting with Malorie of @shop_either_or on all things sustainable and ethical fashion.
Starting anything new is intimidating and full of the unknown.
Where do you start? What do you need? How the heck do you find out what you need? Where do you go for help? What’s been done before? Why are you doing this? SHOULD you do this? OMG this is bat-sh*t crazy. Don’t do it. HEEEEEELLLLLPPPP!
I may be generalizing here, but I’m guessing this is what every single entrepreneur who’s ever decided to launch a business thought at any given time during the process of bringing their dream to life. I’m no exception. These kids of fears may be even stronger in those entrepreneurs trying to launch a sustainable business.