HAVE you ever thought about ‘WHO MADE YOUR CLOTHES’ when you are out clothes shopping?
I for one, never even entertained the idea once upon a time. Not until I heard about the collapse of Rana Plaza in India back in 2013, but I’m not going to harp on about that – you can just enter ‘Rana Plaza’ into google and you can read about that tragedy yourself. Infact – I hope you do because it might just make you ask a few more questions.
Once upon a time I was a fashion mad fashionista, well, I still am, but always leaned towards the different, the op shops and the history or story behind an item of clothing and the thrill of the hunt. I thrived on ‘the thrill of the chase’ until I was delirious with excitement and had many a head rush. Op shopping for me is kinda, like a drug in a sense. I would plough through EVERY.SINGLE.RACK in the entire store to find the ‘diamond’. And you know – I have found some absolute gems.
But as an avid reader of glossies while I was growing up – Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Marie Claire I still had a love for the new. I actually just finished reading Grace Coddington’s book, ‘Memoirs’ and before flipping to the back to see the pics of her famous and iconic shoots in my fave glossy, I could already remember exactly what they looked like, from back in the 90’s especially. To me, it was like transporting to a different world. It was a lovely escape, or dream because I don’t know ANYONE who could have afforded anything in those shoots!
I would never have DREAMED that there was such a thing as fashion creating pollution, child slavery, slavery, people working in unsafe places in unsafe conditions with no rights as a human being. Fashion is and was beautiful. I considered it art most of the time. I could not fathom it was tainted so darkly with unmentionables. My bubble was burst.
Today, before I buy anything, I check myself (Do I REALLY need it?) and also check the fantastic app ‘Good on You’ – free on Apple and Android (get it!!) to see whether where I’m shopping measures up to my personal code of ethics. I have many a time passed up a good bargain (because is it really a bargain if it comes at the cost of human rights and dignity?). I will hunt down an alternative and well – I don’t mind paying a bit more for good quality and the above mentioned standards of living, whatever the country it came from.
So I encourage you all to be:
Be curious when you are shopping. Ask the shop staff if they know, who made their clothes. Consult their website and see whether they list those standards they abide by. You will know the culprits by the way they have absolutely nothing regarding human rights, ethics, safety, sustainability and lots of other (you would think) standards of human living for a wage. Get on their Social Media platforms and ask them openly, ask your friends if they know. Just. Be. Curious.
Jump on Board the Education Train and learn, for FREE ‘WHO MADE MY CLOTHES’ via FutureLearn, the amazing online University and understand what is at stake for everyone involved in Fast Fashion.
Its ALL of our responsibility so lets empower the people who make our clothes by simply asking ‘Who Made My Clothes?’ and in the words of Dame Vivienne Westwood: