The CBS evening news with Dan Rather was a nightly ritual in my house growing up, and I really, actually looked forward to it. I loved seeing what was happening in the world and talking with my Dad about it. I guess I’ve always been interested in society, culture, and social issues. In college I studied anthropology and international relations. I became a social studies teacher and got my masters in social science.
So, it wasn’t a giant leap for me to get into sustainability. The issues swirling around sustainability like sweatshops, child labor, wage inequality, and pollution had bothered me for a long time, but like a lot of folks I chose to conveniently ignore for them my own benefit. I was busy, I had babies, I had a budget, and so on. That’s not a good place to be, and it honestly made me sad. A couple of years ago the Rana Plaza incident came on my radar when I watched a documentary called The True Cost. I was shocked by the facts of the event and equally shocked by the fact that I had NEVER heard of it. It was time to wake up from my self induced state of ignorance.
What happened at Rana Plaza?
Rana Plaza was a multistory building that housed several clothing factories in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The conditions in the building were clearly unsafe but largely ignored for the sake of profit. On April 24, 2013 the building collapsed killing 1,132 people and injuring more than 2,500. This human tragedy put a spotlight on the issues in the fashion industry that I mentioned above. Out of this awareness grew an international organization called Fashion Revolution and a growing world wide interest in sustainability and ethics in the world of fashion and consumer goods in general.
What's Fashion Revolution Week?
Since this week marks the 6th anniversary of the collapse, Fashion Revolution celebrates it as “Fashion Revolution Week”, with a media campaign to shed light on the Rana Plaza incident and the world of sustainable and ethical fashion. Fashion Revolution’s mission is to create greater transparency, ethics, and sustainability in the fashion industry.
What can you do?
Educate yourself on the Rana Plaza Incident
Read about why we need a “Fashion Revolution”
Ask yourself “who made my clothes” this means considering the source of your fashion. If you aren’t sure where your clothes came from and/or if they were ethically and sustainably made google the label. You can also start shopping sustainable brands. I have a small, but growing list of sustainable fashion labels I’ve personally shopped with, find it here.
Shop consignment and participate in clothing swaps. Decreasing demand for cheap, quickly, and poorly made “fast fashion” that often exploits workers and the environment is so important. Shopping used clothing or swapping with your friends is a simple alternative to “fast fashion” and a solution to sustainable fashion on a budget. Because, yes.. I know…. sustainable brands can be more pricey.
Follow along with me on Instagram @lydia.loves.purple I’m always learning and educating on sustainability and I’d love to have you join me!