It is that time of the year- Fashion Revolution week. The week where we ask “who made my clothes?”. It is the week to raise awareness and have an open discussion with brands to become more conscious and purposeful in their production and marketing of their clothes. To ask the questions about who exactly made this piece of clothing and whether they are being paid for their time and efforts appropriately and are able to work in safe conditions. Whether the materials and dyes used to make our clothes are being harvested and created and disposed of properly.
It’s time the companies took some responsibility right?
Over the past few years, there is a new term circulating in this area.
Perhaps you have heard of it too or not. It’s the term used to describe the situation where companies go on about their new “green and eco-friendly initiatives” while actually not really doing it or isn’t aligned with majority of their products. An example of this in the fashion industry could be claiming to use eco-friendly materials in their new sustainability line yet this only accounts for 10% of their output in a year or creating a sustainable line of clothing but releasing new seasons every week.
As an average consumer, it’s really hard to tell whether a company or brand is greenwashing or are actually being sustainable or eco-friendly. But it is something to be aware of and sometimes if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.
Another term that I’ve personally started to despise is “vegan leather”. On the one hand, no animal products are used but on the other hand, most of the “vegan leather” at the moment is probably made from plastics (hello fossil fuels and microplastics that we are all eating). The “vegan leather” that I would truely be interested in is that as a by product of more natural materials eg. cork or cactus.
The best solution I have personally found, is being more intentional with your purchases and also buying, donating or selling second hand so that someone else can enjoy the piece of clothing for many more years or enjoy them better than having it in your wardrobe collecting dust.
If you want to read more, I wrote about how I started my fashion journey to consume better here. I also wrote about ways to reuse old clothes here.
Who made your clothes?