Why Fashion Needs a Revolution
When you think of the word fashion, what comes to mind? Beautiful clothing, outrageous outfits and gorgeous models? Probably not environmental degradation, human right abuses, death and suffering. It is horrific to think about, but these are the realities of the fashion industry. On 24th April 2013, a factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing over 1,100 and injuring a further 2,500, making it one of the largest industrial disasters in recorded history and leading to the formation of the Fashion Revolution.`
I support the Fashion Revolution in its aim to create a fashion industry which does not exploit people or destroy our planet.
The fashion industry is worth £32 billion to the UK economy alone*, and unfortunately, any industry which generates this much money, has a dark side. In fashion, this has been referred to as “Fast Fashion”, where many companies outsource their production to low-income countries such as Brazil or India. It has become commonplace for some big brands (more than you would think) to use a combination of underpaid workers, inadequate working facilities and inferior quality materials to boost production in the name of profit. Not only does this produce misery and danger to thousands of workers worldwide, but it also lowers the standard of quality for the entire industry. The only winner, it would seem, are those big brand shareholders. And that’s it.
The Fashion Revolution manifesto is wonderfully clear and concise –
“We are Fashion Revolution. We are designers, producers, makers, workers and consumers. We are academics, writers, business leaders, brands, retailers, trade unions and policymakers. We are the industry and the public. We are world citizens. We are a movement and a community. We are you.
We love fashion. But we don’t want our clothes to exploit people or destroy our planet. We demand radical, revolutionary change.
This is our dream… “
To find out more information about how they look to achieve this dream, please click MANIFESTO – Fashion Revolution : Fashion Revolution
One way to support the Fashion Revolution is to ask yourself one simple question. “Where did my clothes come from?” If you do not know the answer and the garment you have just bought was low cost and low quality, chances are it was made in a sweat shop. I wanted to make sure The Princess and the Frock did nothing to contribute to this trend and instead, focussed on giving customers beautiful, quality clothing which were ethically sourced. For example, much of the fabric I buy I could source cheaper and pass the saving on to my customers. However, I only buy fabric from ethical brands, which costs more to purchase, but means I can be confident that no-one has been exploited in the process – fashion isn’t beautiful if it has come from an ugly place.
Cost is obviously the driving factor in keeping the industry from changing as rapidly as it should. Most people are blissfully unaware of the conditions their clothes were made in, but so long as it’s cheap, they remain cheerful. Unfortunately, this is a completely false economy. Many times I see online sales with tops being sold for ridiculously low prices. As is so often the case, the quality matches the price. So even if you got an amazing deal on some new leggings, chances are you will be back buying the same pair in a few weeks when they inevitably get holes in all the classic places. Quality costs more, but lasts for so much longer! Many of my customers will tell me of products they have bought from me, which after much use, have now been passed on to siblings, friends and family. Not only is this very cost-effective, but also much better for the environment – why remake when you can re-use?
To help stop the horrific injustices done by the fashion industry, we can start by asking ourselves the question, “Who made my clothes?” To see ethically sourced material be transformed into top quality garments, please visit Products – The Princess and the Frock