Friday, April 28, 2017

Tell A Story - Fashion Revolution Week

In honour of Fashion Revolution Week 2017 – April 24 through 30 – I thought I would do up a little post about how I try to incorporate the purpose of this week into my everyday!

But first, a little history!

Fashion Revolution Week began in response to the collapse of a Bangladesh clothing factory in April 2013 that killed 1138 people and injured many more. The workers knew the building was unsafe, but didn't know how to speak out and were afraid that in doing so they would lose their jobs. The awareness of HOW our clothing is made is meant to encourage people to ask their favourite brands "who made my clothes?"

I like to take it a little farther, and reflect further on "ethical fashion"...what it means to me, why it's important, and how I incorporate it into my closet.

I hate throwing out a perfectly good pair of {anything} if all that's wrong is a simple hole. I can fix holes. I have a pair of jeans that are literally the best jeans I have ever owned. I thrifted them, and I can't find new ones anywhere. I have patched them as best I can, and will continue doing so until they are 100% patch if necessary. And I'm no seamstress.

If you aren't confident in your own sewing skills to mend your clothes - example, I can't figure out how to "take in" any of my too big clothes - consider finding a good tailor! They aren't as expensive as you would think. OR you can check out a local "Repair-A-Thon". There is even one happening this weekend in my neck of the woods! For more info on the Change of Clothes event happening on Saturday April 29, click here!

This is my favourite way to be more mindful in my shopping habits, and stick to my (teensy) budget! While it is best to support independent thrift stores in your community, access is not always possible, so the Goodwills and Value Villages of the world make do. I will never let anyone make me feel guilty about shopping at Value Village because they are “for profit”, but I don't shop at Salvation Army because of their troubling anti-gay history.

I have a love/hate relationship with thrifting though, which you can read about in this post.

When you do have to buy new, try and support an ethical brand. Even better if they are a local, ethical brand!

Now, just because a brand says they’re ethical, doesn’t mean it isn’t just a buzz word to help them sell more t-shirts, so do your research! And just because a brand is "local" doesn't mean they are ethical either. I like Everlane because they break down all the background noise in the fashion industry, listing the factory and location their clothes are made in, and how much each item costs to produce. And they have been doing this for years, before many (any) other brands were doing it.

Something that I continue to think about is the affordability of ethical fashion. Most ethical fashion I find online sells items that are out of my price range. I can’t even imagine how marginalized folks who care about these issues are supposed to support ethical brands when a coat or dress can cost as much as a month’s worth of rent! I applaud members of the fashion industry who are working not only to make their clothes more ethical, but also who are working on making them available to more people.

Remember that the best way to bring ethics into your fashion is to BUY LESS!

Do you have any tips or tricks on how you try to be more ethical/mindful of what makes it into your closet?

Once these next couple of months calm down for me, I have committed to trying a 10x10 or capsule wardrobe for the summer. Essentially, you choose a limited number of items from your closet to wear on a regular basis, put the rest away, and see what happens! Over the past 5 years or so, I have been trying to better curate my closet, being more mindful of things I buy. I think that this is the next step in aligning my values with my reality!


Further Reading:
Fashion Revolution Week's main web presence
Poppy Barley Facebook Page > scroll down a bit to watch the panel they hosted the other day on Fashion Revolution Week!
Change of Clothes
Fashion Revolution Week YEG (on IG)

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