Everything is thrifted, except for socks (though you can DIY your own)
It might seem like a simple question, but have you ever really thought about it? It can feel like clothes begin their lives on hangers in shiny shopping malls, and from there they make a quick trip to our wardrobes (or in the case of online shopping, they magically appear on our doorsteps). It's a fact of our lives, how we were raised, to not give a thought about the life of our clothes before they end up in our stores.
Depending on the brand, your clothes may have come from any number of countries all over the world. However it's a sad fact that most labels who source their clothes from relatively poor countries don't provide a living wage to their workers (i.e. enough for that worker to be able to buy food, basic entertainment and live in decent housing). Many companies don't even know exactly who makes their clothes, because the chain of work becomes buried in subcontract after subcontract - and sadly, many are linked with forced and child labour.
Fashion Revolution Day believes that fashion has the potential to be a force for good in the world (something I wholeheartedly agree with!) And as both lovers and consumers of fashion we have the power to change how it's done. By asking "who made my clothes?" and refusing to buy from retailers who cannot or will not answer that question, we can make a difference - we can start making brands be accountable for the rights of their workers, and start providing safe working conditions and living wages.
How you can contribute to the fashion revolution
Choose thrifting over fast fashion
Find your nearest charity stores and go nuts. Yes, at some point, some of these clothes could have been made using forced or unethical labour. But these clothes have already been bought by someone else, and so your money never goes to the retailers who originally sold the item and does not in any way support their practices, good or bad. In fact, secondhand stores prevent these clothes from going into landfill! Plus, the money you spend on these clothes usually goes into charities that help disadvantaged people.
I pretty much exclusively buy my clothes from thrift shops. Not only is it hella cheap, it satisfies that fast-fashion-urge and allows you stay on-trend, as you can basically find anything you need if you know where and how to look! (If you guys are interested in a thrifting-tips video, then I may be able to provide! Let me know in the comments.)
Who made my clothes?? I made my clothes!You guys have seen all my DIY tutorials, right?? In that case, you probably already know that I'm a big advocate of making your own clothes. I'm trying to figure out how to make my own entire wardrobe, and this blog has documented much of that process!
p.s. Get your fabrics from thrift stores, or make sure that it's certified fair trade. One of the most unaccountable processes of the fashion supply chain is in the production of raw materials.
Buy ethically. Sometimes you might have to shell out a bit of extra cash to buy ethically. But it turns out that you don't even have to do that. Last year I did a bunch of research and compiled an Ethical Fashion Directory of super cute, cheap and ethically-sourced clothing and accessories.
Do your researchEducate yourself! Not all brands are evil, but it's good to know which ones to be wary of. Free2Work is a fantastic site listing many large retailers (such as Zara, H&M, Forever 21 and Target) and how they compare to each other on matters like accountability, transparency and worker's rights.
Spread the word. April 24th is Fashion Revolution day! You can show your support by wearing your clothes #insideout (okay, so I might not personally do this one because a) I have a psychologist's appointment tomorrow and I think that would probably worry them and b) I am also going to a waterpark and wearing a swimsuit inside-out is not ever a good idea) but the idea is to share your #insideout photo on twitter or instagram, with the name of the brand, i.e.
I want to know who made my [@brandname] dress etc #insideout
You can also take the opportunity to post something to your facebook page, talk to your friends, or even send messages to clothing companies asking them "who makes your clothes?" Companies will change if enough of its consumers demand it - otherwise they'll go out of business!
I hope that you're all having an amazing day,
Bloglovin' | Youtube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Chictopia | Lookbook | Tumblr