Practical and affordable ways to join the Fashion Revolution all year long
The Fashion Revolution week seems far away, and as for many celebratory events, the risk is that we forget about it when the date is over. I don’t want to forget its sense, I try to be guided by its values all year long. For this reason I’m writing this blog post, where I’m telling you what Fashion Revolution means to me and how, even with a small budget, you can support this philosophy of ethical fashion.
But before showing you a small list of practical and affordable ways to join this movement, I would like to introduce, if you don’t know it yet, the Fashion Revolution, with some extracts from their website. If you already know what it is, skip the following text and go straight to my suggestions ;)
From the Fashion Revolution website:
FASHION REVOLUTION IS A GLOBAL MOVEMENT
CALLING FOR A FAIRER, SAFER, CLEANER,
MORE TRANSPARENT FASHION INDUSTRY
Fashion Revolution is a global movement calling for greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry.
We want to unite the fashion industry and ignite a revolution to radically change the way our clothes are sourced, produced and purchased, so that what the world wears has been made in a safe, clean and fair way.
On 24 April 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed. 1,138 people died and another 2,500 were injured, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history.
That’s when Fashion Revolution was born.
There were five garment factories in Rana Plaza all manufacturing clothing for big global brands. The victims were mostly young women.
Since then, people from all over the world have come together to use the power of fashion to change the world.
Fashion Revolution is now a global movement of people like you.
Have you ever wondered who made your clothes? How much they’re paid, and what their lives are like?
The majority of the people who makes clothes for the global market live in poverty, unable to afford life’s basic necessities. Many are subject to exploitation; verbal and physical abuse, working in unsafe and dirty conditions, with very little pay.
Today, both people and the environment suffer as a result of the way fashion is made, sourced and consumed.
This needs to change.
Image taken from Fashion Revolution blog
We are campaigning for a more accountable industry, where dignity of toil and a safe environment are a standard and not an exception.
As citizens and consumers — our questions, our voices, our shopping habits can have the power to help change things for the better. We are the driver of trends. Every time we buy something, we’re voting with our wallet.
WE DESERVE TO KNOW WHO MAKES OUR CLOTHES
AND UNDER WHAT CONDITIONS
We love fashion. But we don’t want our clothes to exploit people or destroy our planet. We demand radical, revolutionary change.
This is our dream…
Text taken from the Fashion Revolution website: www.fashionrevolution.org
And now, my suggestions on how to join the Fashion Revolution in a practical and affordable way.
Maybe some of them seem banal to you, but believe me that, unfortunately, for many people they are not.
PRACTICAL AND AFFORDABLE WAYS TO JOIN THE FASHION REVOLUTION
1st thing first: if you don’t like some clothing you own anymore, DON’T THROW IT AWAY!
If it’s still in good condition, you can:
-Swap it with some friends (swap parties are very popular! You can organize one or look for existing ones);
-Donate it to charities that collect clothing for less fortunate people, or for selling them and using the profits to help people in need;
-Sell them as second hand items: for doing so, you can use for example an app called Depop, very popular for this purpose.
If it’s not in good condition anymore, you can:
-Upcycle it: have a look on Google or on YouTube for tutorials and projects on how to reuse clothing, you can find gorgeous ideas! I can suggest you people like Gaia Segattini and her Vendetta Uncinetta, (she wrote a book about renovating the closet in easy and affordable ways; she often talks about sustainable fashion, artisans and artisanal products, fair trade, women and work...), Elsie Larson from A Beautiful Mess (many beautiful DIY sewing, jewelry, décor, textile printing and paper crafts projects) or Elisa from Sunvibes (she designs and makes her wonderful boho chic and gypsy clothing in Mallorca, and she often organizes workshops about sustainable crafts and sewing) for ideas and inspirations;
-If the piece of clothing is in very bad conditions, and there’s no way to upcycle it, you can still cut it in pieces and use them as rags for cleaning the house, our moms and grandmoms always do it (that way you can also save money on industrial dust cloths, they are always too expensive!).
We all know that fast fashion, being it cheap and affordable, always tempts us, in particular if we really need something but our wallet is “light”. I know this very well, in particular since I moved to London and expenses are too many! In this case, what can we do? When the choice of fast fashion is inevitable, I do like that:
-I try to choose something that I really need and I know that I will wear a lot;
-Among all the fast fashion brands, I choose the ones I trust more, or as you say the “less worse”, those who show to make some efforts for a smaller impact on the environment and for good conditions for their workers and manufacturers;
-After buying, I actually wear it a lot, trying not to waste the work of the people who made it, and the resources they used to make it.
But always prefer to:
-Buy vintage, second hand and from shops that sell unsold stock! London and UK is full of charity shops, where you can find many pieces for a small price. You just need to be patient and try many times, the deal is behind the corner! You can also find many vintage shops in bigger towns and cities, or you can browse the internet, for example Etsy.com has, in addition to the most famous handmade section, also a big section dedicated to vintage.
-Buy from independent brands and artisans! Obviously this choice is usually a bit more expensive (it’s not always true: you can also find something affordable with a good quality, but be careful! Distrust independent brands and artisans that are too cheap!), but you can do as I do: if I really love a piece, I try to save money a little at a time. Or I create a wishlist, and for special occasions (birthdays, celebrations, Christmas) I suggest it to the people who love me ;)
Buying from artisans, makers and independent brands can make the difference: you will help someone who built their own job starting from their own creativity and skills, and who eats, pays the bills and the expenses, go on holiday (hopefully) thanks to the selling of their creations; also, you buy from someone you can actually see, meet (if close geographically), talk to, to whom you can ask how their creations come to life. It’s an ethical choice: you help both the environment, the designer and maker, and the people involved in the making receive a proper (usually) pay for their work.
Let’s start choosing one or two points in this list and working on them, little by little it will be easier to do the rest too. Don’t forget that oceans are made by many tiny drops. Every drop makes a difference. One of these drops could be us :)
Here below some pictures of me wearing some of my favorite handmade pieces :) I have more in my closet, but don't have the pictures ;)
Me wearing Carolina Emme dress + French beret
Me wearing Fils de Rêves dress in Algarve, Portugal, 2015
Me wearing Fils de Rêves maxi skirt in Mallorca, 2018
Skirt purchased in 2014
Me wearing a skirt handmade by my mom, Milan 2016
She made it for me in 2013. She has always sewed clothings for me and my sisters since we were babies, and I learnt to love handmade mainly thanks to her :)