For so many of us, we're on a journey. Step by step we are discovering the damage fast fashion is causing to people and the environment and understanding what we can do to make things better. It was fascinating to hear how many of you started out on your sustainable and ethical journeys and we've picked up some great tips along the way.
First of all, there was a significant conversation within the online debate about the dangers of ableism within environmental debates and the risks of taking an unhelpful and judgmental tone when talking about these issues. We are once again so grateful that the Lucy & Yak community is so supportive. Along with us, you're all looking to learn and grow and that's what makes these online debates so much fun and so helpful. So to start with, thank you!
Some important films: The True Cost and Fashion's Dirty Secrets
There was one film that started this off for so many people. So for those who haven't seen it, this comes highly recommended. It's on Netflix – The True Cost .It's a real eye-opener and comes really highly recommended. Suddenly we know a lot more about where our clothes are coming from and just what the clothing industry is doing away where before, we hadn't had a chance to look.
NB - This Tuesday, 23rd April, we have teamed up with Revival collective to screen the True Cost Movie at Brighton ONCA - for more details click here
For others, Stacey Dooley's documentary, “Fashion's Dirty Secrets” was what really opened their eyes for the first time. We've moved a long way from the days of “make do and mend” and the distance between clothing production and the consumer has enabled some of the secrets of the industry to be well hidden for a while. Not any more.
Necessity and Opportunity
Some of us grew up in a culture where hand-me-downs were the norm. My favourite day of the year was when I got to go through my big sister's cast-offs! Our parents shopped in charity shops and bought less.
This was sometimes down to necessity, or sometimes because that seemed like the obvious way to go. Either way, this way of thinking has fed into increasing awareness of the problems of the throw-away culture that has developed on the high street. This is compounded by the fact that cheap clothes are made not to last, fashion window fronts change every week and collections are renewed several times a month. When you begin to think about that, there must be something fishy going on. Something wasteful and unsustainable. The clues are there when you start to look for them.
And when you start to look you begin to realise there are companies out there who would rather you didn't find out their secrets. Working in the food and fashion industry has been eye-opening for many and got people asking bigger questions. And if a company won't tell you where their products come from, well, that tells you everything you need to know!
The Rana Plaza Tragedy - Start of Fashion Revolution
On April 24th, 2013 1135 people died when the Rana Plaza building collapsed.
It turned out that there were 5 garment factories housed in the building exploiting workers and paying them next to nothing. The dreadful conditions resulted in the collapse of the building. It was utterly horrible. It was also the beginning of something important. For many, it became impossible to ignore how the fashion industry treats workers and the Fashion Revolution was born. On an individual level, there was an important impact too. Seeing this kind of thing in the news – and this wasn't the only awful news shining a light on the fashion industry – made many of us start asking questions. Talking with others leads the information to spread and the movement for change to gain momentum.
Some key resources for ethical fashion
One great thing that came out of the debate was a whole list of inspiring resources that have helped many of you on your ethical journey. Here they are in one place – grab a coffee and a quiet half hour because there are some great resources coming up:
www.ethicalconsumer.org – lots of info on the website, and a really fantastic magazine.
Inspiring YouTubers: @kristenleo, @sarahhawkinson, @sustainably_vegan .
Eckhart Tolle: “A New Earth” and “The Power of Now” - books that people describe as “life-changing”; available as books and as audio books.
Great Instagrammers: @dariadaria, @revivalcollective
Good on You – an app that tells you all you need to know about how clothing companies conduct their business.
Wardrobe crisis - https://www.clarepress.com/podcast
A mindful mess - https://soundcloud.com/amindfulmess ( in German)
And this is just a beginning! It's so exciting to find there are so many resources and so much information out there. It's always more fun to walk the journey together. A big thank you to everyone who contributed to the Lucy & Yak debate and look out for the events in store and online to celebrate Fashion Revolution Week 2019!