A lot of people ask me why I am passionate about fair trade and ethical fashion. A lot of people ask me when I became “enamored” with fashion transparency. The truth is… I wasn’t always this way!
I started learning about ethical fashion and ethical production of goods on my first mission trip to Kenya back in 2011. After visiting the Kazuri bead factory in Nairobi and learning about the opportunities given to the women there, I started doing a lot of research on companies and organizations working in impoverished communities.
I became even more interested once I went back to Kenya in 2012. Talking with a lot of people there and learning more about the lack of opportunity to earn a fair wage, provide for families, have access to clean drinking water, etc. etc. etc. got me even more fired up.
But to be honest, I really didn’t know the WHOLE story. I was very ignorant. And I knew that.
Then, I started really learning about fair trade brands and fair trade clothing in 2013 after a couple of friends hosted a “fair trade fashion party.” It was honestly the first time I’d heard some of the details about our fashion industry today.
But even then, I truly didn’t know the WHOLE story. But, my passion for ethical fashion and give back brands only grew. I started meeting people like Erin from The Mighty River Project, and Rachel from Noonday Collection, and Bethany from the Root Collective and I started hearing from them firsthand about the issues and problems that are CURRENTLY happening in the fashion industry.
And then I watched a documentary called The True Cost. That’s when I could no longer ignore what was happening. I couldn’t pretend like I didn’t know.
After watching The True Cost, I learned about the Fashion Revolution.
On April 24th, 2013, 1,134 people were killed and over 2,500 people were injured when the Rana Plaza complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. This complex was home to factory workers working in extremely dangerous and unsafe conditions for less than a living wage making the clothes so many of us wear.
This factory complex was home to factories producing some of the world’s most prominent fashion brands.
And that tragedy exposed a lot of what is wrong in the “fast fashion” world and it’s time that we as consumers stand up and do something about it. Often times, the best place to start is just to ask the simple question: “Who made my clothes?”
That’s the Fashion Revolution.
The “official” Fashion Revolution day is THIS SUNDAY the 24th, but I challenge you… now through Sunday (or hey… even AFTER that…) send a message to your favorite fashion brands and ask: “Who Made My Clothes?”
There are also A TON of other amazing resources on the Fashion Revolution website. Information about fast fashion, how to be the change, ways to shop ethically, etc. etc. etc. Get involved. Use your voice for something good. Use your purchasing power to make a difference in the lives of so many.
Be awesome. Be the change.