It’s Fashion Revolution week. A week that remembers the horrors of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in 2013 and fights for much needed change in the fashion industry.
This week may go by fast and you may blink and miss this campaign, but it’s crucial that current fashion habits of trend buying begin to slow if we are to make a substantial difference to the harmful and detrimental effects of the current fashion industry on the world’s poorest and our suffering environment.
Not forgetting that since the outbreak of COVID-19, the problems have been significantly heightened. Making it now more than ever important to shop with conscience. With brands cancelling orders, factory workers across the world have had their payments ceased, and employment uncertainty is rife. Furthermore, cotton growers are facing the hard choice between risking their health to harvest cotton or to leave their livelihood to spoil in the fields (information sourced from Fashion Revolution). Fast fashion has an impact on the lives of all, not just us Western consumers.
As a lover of fashion and all things shopping, I have begun my own small journey into the world of shopping more responsibly and with heightened awareness. And I think it’s so important that others begin to do the same. My words may seem hypocritical, for I too did once enjoy the buzz of receiving an ASOS order in the post, but now having acknowledge the much-needed change in the fashion industry you’ll find me in oversized vintage jumpers and faded once jet-black jeans for the foreseeable.
Prioritising necessity over want should be the future of fashion. Simply not buying items because you can, but because you need them. Maybe, if like me, you’ve got a few too many old band t-shirts that you’ve hoarded in your adolescence, why then would you possibly need to buy another black t-shirt? So before making any purchase, ask yourself “do I really need this? and importantly “who made my clothes?”
Of course, this seems extreme and unachievable, and a life without shopping seems very dull – I know. But sustainable fashion isn’t restricting your options or sense of style. Sustainable fashion opens up a new world of opportunity.
Maybe instead of hitting up High Street fashion stores on your next shopping trip post-lockdown of course, why not check out your local vintage shops or charity stores? Here you can find bargain pieces that are truly unique and give you the same sense of new clothing excitement. Plus you are helping a local business/charity – it’s a win win.
Remember for those rainy days inside (but also most of the time now) there’s always time to have a scroll through Depop and see what bargains are to be found! That spotty must-have Zara dress that everyone war last summer you can sure found on ASOS for a fraction of the price.
Or why not go through your wardrobe and pull out items that you’ve not reached for in years? There’s nothing more satisfying than styling outfits from your current wardrobe that you’ve not considered before, and suddenly they seem to be the perfect combination. Make the most of what you’ve already got! You bought it because you loved it once over, so knows the time to reignite that love.
And not forgetting the wonderful array of sustainable fashion brands that are constantly emerging, which make sustainable decisions throughout the manufacturing and production of each garment. A full list of my favourite sustainable fashion brands can be found here (spoiler, it inevitably features Lucy and Yak!)
So, there goes my stream of consciousness on sustainable fashion that I hope you found insightful. Making little conscious decisions often, is far better than never making them at all. Who knew that being united in a collective struggle against the current fashion industry could be so fashionable?!