I re-read my first blog post recently. When I started blogging I knew I wanted to talk about style, fashion and sustainability. And it felt like the 12 month ‘no shopping challenge’ was a good hook to hang it on. There were three main reasons for it – physically too much clutter in my wardrobe; my background working in environmental law; and a desire to rediscover myself and my own personal style.
Where am I now? Well, my wardrobe is less cluttered and I’ve become more careful about what I buy, choosing things I really love and that will last, over fast fashion. I have a much better idea about what is in my wardrobe, and I wear a greater percentage of the clothes in it.
I have also returned to ‘real’ work as an environment lawyer. 3 days/week in the office, immersed in all things environmental from wildlife and species protection, to plastic pollution – and I love it!
Nothing stays the same. I am continuing to rediscover myself and my own style.
Was the wardrobe clear out another step towards more confidence, clearer thinking and a little bit more spring in my step? Or has the general upthrust in my life encouraged me to edit my wardrobe and ditch the crap that I never wore and would never wear in the future? I guess I’ll never know …
So, I’ve updated my username to something that feels more ‘me’ and I’m looking forward to sharing lots of interesting posts with you going forward… Here’s to the next chapter!
How can we make socially resonsible clothing choices…?
As many of you will be aware, the last week in April was Fashion Revolution Week, a global campaign calling for more transparency in fashion supply chains.
Fashion Revolution was set up by designers Cary Somers and Orsola de Castro, in direct response to the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex in Bangladesh on 24th April 2013. The collapse killed 1,134 people and injured 2,500 others and highlighted to the world the low wages and dangerous working conditions suffered by garment workers in India.
Clothing supply chains are complex and can involve many countries and many phases of textile production. The Rana Plaza collapse made headline news, but for every ‘newsworthy’ story there are hundreds of other stories of poverty and abuse of workers within the fashion and clothing industry. And unacceptable working conditions and ‘slave labour’ exist, not just in the developing world but in parts of Europe too.
The team behind Fashion Revolution Week organised many activites worldwide including hosting ‘open studios’ inviting people into the workshops of Stella McCartney, Vivenne Westwood, Eileen Fisher, Veja and others who are happy to submit their processes to public scrutiny.
Their aim is a Three-Fold Change –
a. Change the Model, ie the way clothing is produced and consumed.
b. Change the Material – chemicals used in growing, dyeing and cleaning fabric are polluting rivers worldwide; tonnes of clothing is being taken to landfill every year; and through increasing mass production we are in danger of losing artisanal craftsmanship and human skills. In addition, according to the Carbon Trust clothing accounts for around 3% of the global production of CO2 emissions.
c. Change theMindset of the consumer.
Fashion Revolution’s campaign #whomademyclothes, is one way of encouraging a change in mindset. The campaign has been trending on social media for some time now and in 2017, over 100,000 people asked brands this question. Putting a name and a face to the production of clothing is helping to humanise this fundamental part of the supply chain. Continue reading “Fashion Revolution Week – and Responsible Shopping.”