Do you know who made your clothes?
Who made the clothes I’m wearing today? I really have no idea. The choice of where to buy my clothes changed dramatically after one day in church, I saw a girl wearing the exact same flowery orange skirt with an orange belt I had bought earlier that week, at a franchised international fashion store. Not that specialized store found only at the corner
of the quiet street. The only problem is that I was wearing the skirt that same day. You understand me when I tell you that I avoided that girl for the whole service and rushed home as fast as I could. Ever since I take good notice of what I buy and where I buy it, but of course for the wrong reasons.
A while ago, I’ve taken notice of materials as organic cotton, and
brands like Mud Jeans (using jeans instead of owning jeans) and Patagonia (highly environmental conscious brand). These brands are particularly concerned about the environment and social responsibility. Talking about social responsibility, it reminds me of the Rana Plaza disaster which took place 3 years ago this week. Rana Plaza, a Bengalese building housing mostly clothing factories, collapsed killing more than 1100 people and leaving 2500 injured. The 8 story high building collapsed due to poor construction and lack of oversight.
Inside the factories, many labor laws were violated: too many factory workers per square meters (mostly women), child labor, low wages and long working hours.
You might say, this is a far from our bed show. All the way in Bangladesh. What if I told you important brands like Benetton, Primark, C&A, JC Penney and many others were supplied by these factories or are linked in any way to them? The pressure for production is due to the growing global desire for cheap fashion. The Economist talkes about Faster, Cheaper Fashion.
Three years after the accident the Clean Clothes Campaign is concluded and many brands have made their contribution to compensate the families of the dead and injured. A total od $30 Million was contributed.
This week is the #FashionRevolution week. Fashion Revolution was born after the Rana Plaza disaster. It’s an awareness raising movement that urges people to think about where their clothes really come from. With the yearly campaign #whomademyclothes, they want us consumers to demand better conditions for the people who make our clothes. In 2015, in 70 countries, more than 10.000 people participated in the Fashion Revolution Week. A study on digital activism show that, social media activism maybe isn’t going to change the world, but could help raise awareness on important issues. I hereby encourage you all to do the same this year.
Very coincidental H&M launched its World Recycle Week Campaign with a tremendous call to Rewear it! Starting from April 18th to April 24th. Wasn’t this the exact Fashion revolution Week? H&M wants to collect 1000 tons of clothes for recycling. As H&M puts it: “recycle them and create new textile fibre, and in return you get vouchers to use at H&M. Everybody wins!” Is this real at all? The Guardian points out to studies which show that it seems impossible to recycle 1000 tons of clothing. To create new textile fibre from 1000 tons means 12 years of har work. Moreover, 1000 tons of clothes seems nothing compared to the amounts brands produce and put up in their stores in 48 hours. Giving consumers vouchers at the other hand pushed them into buying even more. How about the garment workers? Does their working conditions get any attention at all? Or are we being fooled by some unrealistic greenwashing scheme?
Recycling a shirt that is 100% cotton or 100% polyester is very easy. The problem starts when you have to recycle clothing of which the fiber is intertwined together. For example, a shirt that is 75% cotton and 25% polyester. Now that is difficult. How can you separate the cotton from the polyester? I read an article about some scientist in Australia that managed to find a way to speed up the process in an environmentally friendly way. Great read Esther, keep it up!
if I wear something just to stay on and material is harmful for me I will get sick. So why wear those things just to stay in style.
Be careful what to wear is the most thing to do. People might think you crazy but nowadays they make so nasty things.
With inferior material to make money and people getting sick with those clothes.
So be careful what you buy to put on your skin.
Fashion is my genre. I love what is written in the matter. Thanks for the great guidance.