Newsflash: That bargain you bagged at your favourite fast fashion store may have come at a big price. Do your bit for the environment and human rights by knowing #whomadeyourclothes and join the Fashion Revolution Singapore
Look beyond the glitzy store windows and shiny racks of trendy new threads in some fast fashion stores and you’ll unearth the dark truth of the fashion biz: It’s one of the dirtiest industries in the world. The demand for cheap, mass-produced clothes comes at a steep price – besides harming the earth, human rights violations (think sweatshop conditions and child labour) are common as some companies frequently outsource to unapproved and unmonitored factories. Of course, it’s important to note that not all fast fashion brands are guilty of this – simply do your research and you’ll find that many now incorporate sustainably made fabrics and ethical practices.
But if you think a bigger change is long overdue, it’s time you join the Fashion Revolution. Held annually from 24 to 30 April, the movement commemorates the Rana Plaza incident when a garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed due to structural issues on 24 April 2013 , killing 1,138 people and injuring thousands. To avoid such deadly situations from happening again, Fashion Revolution Week’s first step is to push for transparency in the fashion world – companies should know who makes their clothes and under what conditions, and be able to communicate this information to the public.
Here’s what you need to do to join the revolution: Snap a photo of your clothing label, upload it on social media and be sure to tag the brand with the critical question: #whomademyclothes?
Want to show more support? Fashion Revolution Singapore’s got a host of activities in store for sustainable shoppers.
Kickstarting the week early is Only Vinyl: the Fashion Revolution by Kampong, a night of great tunes, cheap tipples and bbq, as well as talks and activities by the sustainable fashion activists. To learn more about ethical fashion, head to Re-fashioned: An Intro to Fixing Fashion to pick up tips from industry insiders on sustainable fabrics, and how to shop in a world dominated by fast fashion.
Also on the calendar is Restyle your Wardrobe: an exciting two-day workshop to teach you how to upcycle your clothes. Happening on 22 and 29 April, you’ll learn how to make clothing last longer, and how to rework them (no worries if you don’t have sewing skills – you’ll be taught how to use a sewing machine). Or for an environmentally-friendly way to shop, head to Swapaholic, where you’ll exchange your unworn pieces for new items and declutter your wardrobe at the same time.
Want more sustainable fashion stories? Read more about MATTER: A local label that makes ethically sourced clothing and learn where to shop for second-hand goods.