As bloggers, we think it’s really important, when we can, to lend our voices to the right message. Most of the time you can find you trialling, testing, reviewing, buying, selling, donating and—yes—discarding lingerie. We have loads of fun writing about fashion, but there is a darker side to it that is currently being tackled by some amazing people in the industry. And we want to lend out voices to the Fashion Revolution in whatever way we can. We have brands that want our opinions on sizing, fit, design, reviews…and so if we can have an input on that, then maybe we can have an input on something a bit more important.
You probably already know it’s Fashion Revolution week. Three years ago on the 24th of April, the collapse of a factory in Rana Plaza, Bangladesh killed over a thousand people who were making our clothes. It revealed in a very real, very violent way, how little we know about the supply chains that make up our fashion industry.
What we love about the Fashion Revolution campaign is the way that it has been designed to empower consumers. It would so easy to start shaming here; to start looking at people and judging them for the clothes they buy and the companies they buy from. Instead, we’re being encouraged and inspired to start asking questions. The simplest of these: who made my clothes? By challenging the designers we love to wear, the brands we want to support, and the companies who hold the reigns, we’re refocussing attention on where it needs to be. We’re not going to abandon fashion, but the fashion industry can do things better. They can ensure a fair supply chain, in which all their workers are paid a fair living wage. There are 21 million people worldwide who still victims of slavery, and some of those people will have made the clothes you’re wearing.
It can seem a little intimidating, when it feels like we’re taking on the brands we actually want to keep wearing. But we actually have the power, as consumers, to make incremental change. By carefully choosing who to give our money to—that’s power. And it’s the kind of action that will eventually make changes. We may be sounding a little Phoebe (or was it Chandler? Or Joey?) from Friends now—because is there really a way to do something good and be entirely selfless?? Maybe it’s just us that epsiode has stuck with! But buying an item of clothing, the making of which has positively benefitted a deprived community, feels pretty damn good. You not only get the clothes on your back, but also get a little light of warm, good feeling in your chest—that doing something you would have done anyway, has also done some good for someone else.
It isn’t our fault, but it should be our responsibility.
So what can we do?
So many things!
You can start by getting active with us on twitter. Take a photo of a piece clothing (or lingerie, as we’ll be doing!) and tweet the brand, asking them #whomademyclothes?
Watch ‘The True Cost‘ documentary, if you haven’t already. It’s amazing, full of information on how to affect change, and it’s also on Netflix!
Get inspired to make a change and learn about the issues. There are loads of great articles out there about what you can do to and how you can do it. If you want to dig a little deeper, the wonderful Safia Minney has just released a book, ‘Slow Fashion‘.
There are loads of ways to help your wardrobe too. Instead of chucking out clothes—donate, upcycle, or pass on.
If you’re feeling creative, like our Sian, make your own!
If you can afford to, donate to Safia Minney’s kickstarted project ‘Slave to Fasion‘, which needs £35,000 to uncover and help to eradicate slavery from the fashion industry.
Look out for brands with transparency, and encourage if you don’t see it. In the UK, we love People Tree for clothing, and Neon Moon is doing an awesome job on the lingerie front. There are many more; if you buy locally, or from independents, you can be more confident that your money isn’t going into an unfair system.
Finally…keep an eye out for future posts from us inspired by the Fashion Revolution, trying to do a very little bit within the lingerie industry. We’ll be spotlighting brands who prioritise ethical trading and sustainable, doing some reviews to try out the quality of organic materials, and hopefully some stuff that doesn’t sound quite as dry as all that…Basically, this is us saying: REVOLT! And we promise to as well.