It’s been almost 14 days since the 3rd Fashion Revolution took place. It is a reminder of the fall of garment factory Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, where 1300 people where killed in the rubble of the building and more than 2000 were injured. Since then, the worldwide movement called Fashion revolution has emerged and on the day of the factory fall 24th April, we can find many photos on social medias with hashtag “whomademyclothes” and etc. The theme of sustainable fashion has begun to become more prominent in the media, pushing retail chains and other big fashion houses to ecological behavior towards our planet and more human behaviour to their employees. But today’s article is not about this.
The more I read articles about fashion sustainability the more I think about what to do to help, how to do things differently or what needs to be changed. There are plenty of articles out there that blame and point to the fast fashion chains like H&M, ZARA, Primark, and etc. Most of them also appeal to us, that we should only buy recycled or organic clothing.
But the question, who created this problem, remains unanswered. Is it only fast-fashion to blame? Fast-fashion chains, as well as fast-food chains are the products of society development. And whether we like it or not, the guy who founded McDonalds is not the one to blame. It’s us who go there, buy, consume and support his business. Without us, consumers, no fast-fashion or fast-food chain could work. But honestly, that is the time we live in now, so we need to get used to it. But what can we do?
I, personally, consider myself as supporter of sustainable, responsible, recycled and organic fashion. Of course, like most of us, I went through a phase in my life when I was shopping like a fool and I had to have everything new and trendy each season. But we have to go through this to discover that this is not the perfect way of doing something and to change our behaviour. A few days ago I have established a sustainable womenswear brand, which aims to get sustainable fashion to the people out-there, who would not normally have a chance to buy anything like it. Believe, when you don’t grow up in a city big as London, NY or in the Czech republic – Prague, you have to shop in H&M, New Yorker and shops like that – it is hard to find anything else. By creating my brand, I want to get people to choice to choose what they would like to wear or support.
Even though, there are many sustainable brands, small designers around the world these days – “normal” people (I consider myself a normal one – the ones that lived/live or grown up outside the big cities) don’t get these products – why? Mainly, because the products are inaccessible and too expensive for them – from designer point of you – that is logical. That is why there are fast-fashion chains which offers trendy clothes for decent money. The problem is, and if you have ever visited Primark you know what I am talking about, that people get too much staff, which they don’t even need. Primark is the perfect example. When you walk around it, just take a while to look at the people who come out from there – each of them has more than three huge bags of clothing. The question is why? The answer is unknown. I, myself, visit H&M or COS time to time. I do buy a thing that I know I need, I love and I will wear until … I do have a lot of things in my closet which are older than 2 years now – and I am still wearing it. My mum, she goes to H&M to buy a jacket or dress when she needs it. And than she take care of the clothes and wear them for 3-4 years.
So, it is the guilt only on the side of big chains and huge fashion houses? It’s always easy to blame someone else and apologize why we do what we do. Whether it’s a fashion industry or a political situation. Everything reflects our society. Everything is always starting with us. It is possible, that we think – if I will be the only one to act differently, it will not have any effect whatsoever in anyway. But that is silly … when you change your behavior, it will change your future and your friends, and so on. Even if your changed behaviour affects only one person, it still makes sense and it still make difference! Nowadays, we feel that instagram, facebook and the number of followers are the most important things in our lives. Yes, for businesses, for example, it is very important. For personal life? In my opinion, not. However, you need to learn to live with it, because both social media and other platforms, as well as fast-food and fast-fashion rhymes are not going anywhere in the near future. Maybe, when each of one of us takes a while and look at him/herself, he/she finds that there is another deeper level in our lives than our instagrams, facebooks, snapchats or the size of our wardrobe and the number of precious things we own.