DEAR FASHION, It’s time for a revolution
An ode to Planet Earth, in observance of Earth Day & Fashion Revolution Week
For most of us sustainability lovers April is a month to celebrate our planet Earth; it’s Earth Month! But if you are new to the sustainable fashion movement, you might not be aware that April marks a significant turning point in fashion too: Fashion Revolution Week.
On April 24, 2013, Rana Plaza Factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing over 1,000 garment workers and injuring many more. The following year Fashion Revolution Week became a global movement held on the anniversary of this horrific tragedy to demand greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry.
Fashion Revolution Week 2019 takes place 4/22-4/28. This month there are two global commemorative events, Earth Day and Fashion Revolution, that coincide, which shine a spotlight on how intimately the environment and fashion industry are interwoven. All garments essentially originate from the Earth’s resources- soil, water, crops, energy. Unfortunately at this time, the fashion industry demands more resources than the planet is able to provide.
Something must change. The industry must slow down. The good news is that it starts with us; there is a lot we can do to revolutionize how fashion is fashioned.
For starters, we all can take part in joining the Fashion Revolution. This can be as simple as making small changes in our everyday choices and our purchases. Every small step we take creates a ripple effect that contributes to a massive global movement over time.
Join the Fashion Revolution Week #whomademyclothes campaign and reach out to clothing brands on social media using the #whomademyclothes; brands and producers are encouraged to respond with the hashtag #imadeyourclothes sharing who and where your clothes were made to demonstrate transparency in their supply chain.
Fashion Revolution was developed to create lasting change, raise awareness, and unite consumers and brands to work together to change the way our clothes are sourced, produced and consumed. If we, as consumers, demand transparency, brands will be forced to adopt environmentally and ethically fair practices to protect both the planet and the people who make our clothes. It’s time for a revolution. It starts with you and I- all of us can contribute to the making of a more fair and just fashion industry.
As a sustainable fashion advocate, fashion lover, and a patron of this Earth, I care a lot about fashion and the impact it is having on our planet. I have made it my mission to raise awareness of the environmental injustices in the fashion industry and inspire as many people as I can to use fashion for good, keep clothes out of landfill, and learn to curate a sustainable closet.
Unfortunately, there is a tremendous human and environmental cost to fashion that this industry does not want you to know about. Many garment workers are not only treated unfairly, but they are often forced to work in inhumane working conditions and even abused. The fashion industry is still one of the largest polluters of the Earth.
I first became aware of these environmental and ethical injustices through the documentary True Cost. If you have not seen it, please do. I will also be holding a webinar this month (details below) sharing my own personal cliff notes version of curating a sustainable wardrobe.
What you can do at home:
Shop your own closet, restyle and repurpose the clothing you already have; if you own it, wear and repeat.
Host or attend a clothing swap.
Shop secondhand (the most sustainable means of shopping).
Repair what you already own.
Sell, consign or donate unwanted items so they can be used and loved by someone that needs them.
Wash your clothing on cold, only when needed, and air dry, forgoing the dryer as often as you can to extend the lifecycle of your clothing.
Shop from sustainable and ethically produced brands (see Remake resource below).
Purchase natural fabrics as often as possible, such as cotton, wool, linen, silk, hemp, cashmere, alpaca, all of which use less chemicals and energy to produce, and therefor have a lower carbon impact on the planet.
Rent or borrow instead of purchasing to slow down the demand on the fashion industry to produce faster, cheaper clothing.
What you can do in the community:
Participate in the Earth Day Simple Solutions Summit hosted by Green Living and Keep Phoenix Beautiful 4/22
Attend the Green Living Upcycle Design Challenge 4/22
Attend the River Blue film screening with Tracey Martin, 4/23, Harkins Scottsdale 101, 6:30pm
Attend the AZ Sustainable Fashion clothing swap at Thrive Coworking Gilbert, 4/4, 6-8pm
Attend the Sustainable Style webinar hosted by Laura Madden/ Remake/ AZ Sustainable Fashion 4/10
Attend the Reclaimed Fashion Event by Goodwill (Priest + Elliot location), 4/27, 2-5pm
Take part in Fashion Revolution Week: 4/22-4/28
Attend an AZ Eco Fashion Week event 4/23- 4/27
Fashion Revolution: https://fashionrevolution.org/
AZ Sustainable Fashion: www.azsustainablefashion.com/
Sustainable In Stilettos by Tracey Martin: www.officiallytraceymartin.com/welcome
AZ Eco Fashion Week: www.fabrictempe.com/az-eco-fashion-week/
Green Living Eco Events: https://greenlivingaz.com/arizona-events/eco-events
True Cost documentary: https://truecostmovie.com/
ReFashion Report: www.iamlauramadden.com/webinar
Keep Phoenix Beautiful: http://www.keepphxbeautiful.org/earth-day-phoenix/
Goodwill AZ: https://www.goodwillaz.org/
This story was first featured in the April issue of Green Living Magazine. Additional versions can be accessed here + here.
Photography provided by Goodwill AZ + Fashion Revolution + Remake