This week, the eyes of the ethical and sustainable world have been fixed on Fashion Revolution Week, a campaign and a movement created in order to promote greater transparency within the fashion industry.
It brings awareness about the appalling conditions that fast fashion is made in, the poor compensation that is paid to workers and encourages us to question the true cost of our clothes, far beyond monetary value.
This week, we have seen their faces. Social media has displayed hundreds of photos of people that have put together some of the outfits that we wear. Beautiful people of all shapes, sizes and colours, all proud of their work.
We have heard their stories. We’ve heard about the inhumane conditions of sweatshops and the poor wages paid, but we have also heard beautiful stories about brands that do things the right way, paying their workers and suppliers fair compensation, maintaining an ethical supply chain and fighting for change. Brands that are transforming entire communities with their work.
What you do during Fashion Revolution week matters, but your actions during the rest of the year matter so much more.
So, what can you do?
1. Be intentional about purchases.
Know where your clothes and accessories come from.
This does not in any way mean that you should throw out your entire wardrobe to only purchase sustainable, ethically made items. Rather, focus your attention into choosing replacements with care.
2. Support your favourites.
When you find a brand you love, or a brand that is doing an outstanding job in the sustainable space, do share it with others who you think might like it. Leave a review on their website or facebook page. Share it on yours. Keep it in mind for Christmas and birthday gifts.
Simple actions like these are gold in the digital space.
3. Take it to the next level.
Keep an eye out for changes in policy. Express your opinion about changes, both good and bad.
Bring these issues up with key influencers and take part in events and campaigns that champion the cause.
Keep brands accountable. Ask them #whomademyclothes? Ask them about their workers, their supply chain, their process.
1. Be more transparent
Whether it’s about your supply chain, workers, factories or manufacturing process (trade secrets aside), be more open with your customers about what you do and how you do what you do.
Remember that sustainability is a journey, and the vast majority of the sustainable community will support your commitment to change and improvement.
2. Signpost your values
Make it easy for your customers to find the information that they are looking for.
We’re all busy people with low attention spans wading through huge amounts of information online.
Don’t bury your ethos in the fine print. Shout about it. Tell us your stories. Tell us why you do what you do and what difference you hope to make. Inspire us.
3. Support other sustainable brands.
As part of the ethical and sustainable community, we are all working towards the same goal.
We want to live in a world where people are valued and the planet is cared for.
We want to run successful businesses that make a positive impact on individual consumers, our community at large and the environment.
We want to change the way business is done, making it fairer for all involved.
The best way we can do that is by joining forces and working together for a better future.
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Preeti is the Marketing Manager at Blue Patch. Born and raised in India, she spent some time in the US, completing a degree in Psychology and Biology, after which she moved to the UK in 2010 to study an MSc in Finance and Management. She can often be found obsessing over her plants, trying to clamp down on an ever-increasing collection of nail polish or exploring and taking photos of random corners of London. She loves checking out seasonal trends, but tends to buy minimal pieces when it comes to fashion.