We love fashion – always have, always will – but there’s no getting away from the fact that sometimes it lets the side down. Exploitation is one of the worst aspects – does awesome, affordable fashion have to come with a human cost? No, we don’t think so. Fashion Revolution Week was developed as a chance to do something about it, a positive and proactive way to raise awareness and help make the industry a more transparent and less exploitative place.
A few facts about the fashion industry
- The global value of the fashion industry is £2 trillion
- Six of the world’s top 20 richest people (like, Bill Gates rich) are in retail
- 80% of garment workers are women
- Many of them live in poverty
- It would cost just £1.31 extra to buy a T-shirt if the people making it were paid a living wage
- It would take a garment worker 18 months to earn what a fashion brand CEO makes on their lunch break
The Fashion Revolution
When the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed in April 2013 it took 1,129 souls with it and drew attention to the terrible conditions that people were working in to produce fashion for high street brands like Primark, Mango and Monsoon Accessories. What personally gave us a sinking feeling at the time was that we had no clue that’s how the clothes were being made and what people went through to do it.
Since then, there has been positive change – to law, practices and the dawning realisation that consumers actually have a lot of power. The key question here is #whomademyclothes ? At The Glass Pineapple we are all about brand stories and we believe that when you wear something you’re carrying all of that item with it, whether it was carefully stitched in India or crafted in a studio in London’s East End. Part of the pleasure – and maybe the responsibility – of being a fashion consumer is looking behind the brand and insisting on a better way.
More mindful fashion
During Fashion Revolution Week – or any time in fact – anyone can get involved in encouraging brands to be proud of their sourcing by posting a photo of favourite labels on social media and asking the question #whomademyclothes? With smaller labels you can ask the designer questions, take an interest in how and why they do what they do and send your cash the way of those that can prove ethical provenance. Even as mere consumers we have a lot more power than we think.