The Fashion Revolution
Welcome to the world of slow-fashion, where revolutionizing the way we shop and the way our garments are produced is the focus. Who could have guessed that when John Legend called us “Ordinary people” and told us to "take it slow” he was talking about fashion? I did, of course.
There are countless reasons for choosing to become a more conscious consumer in the fashion world. Perhaps you are focused on organization, and the pursuit of happiness by focusing on less material things – Dare I say you’re entering the world of minimalism (very trendy right now). Another totally valid reason is that you’ve become aware of the harsh and negative impact that fashion world has on our environment and you’re looking for a change. This might be your way of protesting unethical work environments in factories.
No matter what motivates you to make this change, we welcome you. To help you get started, here is a brief guide through terms you might come across in your journey through the Fashion Revolution.
The Social Business:
This will probably be a term we are most familiar with. While this is often confused with businesses that use social media to reach their audience, we want to focus on businesses that aim to address a social need and have a positive impact on society.
My preferred business model is centered around the Chinese proverb: “Give a man a fish, you feed him for one day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime”. Sorry vegans, feel free to replace fish with kale.
Here’s a pretty concept that gets tossed around every once in a blue: Sustainable fashion. In theory, sustainable practices aim to retain the earth’s ecological balance without causing much environmental harm. Being that the garment industry is one of the world’s biggest contributors to pollution, second only to the oil industry, it makes sense that "woke" brands are striking back and actively aiming to reduce their production waste.
Cotton is one of the most popular fabrics used world-wide, however the impact it has on our planet is detrimental. Not only does the cotton plant use up 10% of all of our agricultural water, it also contributes to approximately 25% of all the insecticides used in agriculture. Cotton is quite the thirsty plant, and if you care about staying hydrated and living on a planet where bodies of water are abundant, you might want to start looking into fabric alternatives. I promise to share a more in-depth analysis on the impacts of the garment industry in a future blog post ;)
Ethics usually focus on the way your clothing is produced and everyone affected by it. This starts from the way the fabric is sourced (i.e. with minimal impact towards the environment) making sure that farmers and manufacturers are paid fair trade pricing, to the way it is sold making sure the retail price reflects market value and employee wages are not compromised in order to put out cheap threads. Working conditions must follow an ethical standard as well, such as reasonable breaks, ventilated spaces, and prohibiting child labor. Here are a few brands that aim for a sweatshop free world
As consumers, we have the ability to dictate the world we want to live in. You can choose to follow one, or all three of these concepts while curating a more conscious wardrobe:
Does the company have a positive impact on society and address a social issue?
How is our environment affected by the production of these garments?
Who made my clothes?
Cheers to rejecting fast fashion and giving more attention to brands that are fueling the fashion revolution. It is time to take a few steps towards a greener earth, even if the orange goblin and his minions in the white house insist on taking us back. If you have a brand you love that falls into one or more of these categories - Social business, sustainable fashion, ethical fashion- please share in the comments below!