I often wonder about the hands that made the items that keep me clothed, fed and comfortable. Were they tired, calloused, bored? What were these people thinking about when they sewed my jeans’ pocket, picked my tea leaves, harvested wood for my paper? I can only wonder. I certainly don’t know their names.
On the 24th April 2013, 1134 people died and over 2500 were injured at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh when a garment factory collapsed. Despite two years passing since this preventable, deadly event, garment workers still face terrible working conditions – low pay, long hours, harassment, lack of organised representation, terrible health and safety conditions…(This excellent article explains more of the real cost of cheap fashion).
Fashion Revolution was created to speak out about the ongoing, heavy costs the fashion industry places on those who work in it and the environment. Every year on the 24th April, this global movement brings people together to raise awareness about the current impact of fast fashion and celebrate what is possible in creating new paradigms for sustainable fashion. It won’t bring back the victims from Rana Plaza, but it honours them and is part of the global change needed to prevent another one.
Getting involved is simple:
The labels on our clothes tell us how to take care of them throughout their lifespan, but nothing about the person who created them. Even though my wardrobe is dominated by items picked up second-hand (and the occasional piece sewn by my own hands), I still want to know who it was that made them. Whoever they are, God values them as he does all of us, and they deserve to live in dignity. Instead this is denied them by the desire of others for cheap clothes.
I normally shy from a selfie, but on this day I will get over my self-consciousness to add my voice to the movement, asking this vital question: who made my clothes?
If you’re interested, there’s more information and reading here.
Ethical Consumer is a really useful resource when you’re thinking of buying something new and looking for the most ethical option.
Today’s soundtrack: Citizens // Already Not Yet