Fashion Revolution Week
While I'm a day late to the party today I want to talk about some buzz around the town - Fashion Revolution Week. I owe today's post idea to Janis, the gal behind Publicity Room and co-coordinator of Edmonton's fashion revolution social page and events. Taken right from the Fashion Revolution YEG site:
"Fashion Revolution is a global movement that works for a more sustainable fashion industry, campaigning for a systemic reform of the industry with a special focus on the need for greater transparency in the fashion supply chain.
Fashion Revolution works all year round to raise awareness of the fashion industry’s most pressing issues, advocate for positive change, and celebrate those who are on a journey to create a safer, cleaner, and fairer future for fashion."
With fast fashion on the rise and over consumption running rampant, Fashion Revolution wants you to take a step back and think about how what you wear affects the environment and the people who make and sell your clothes. In our own city there are some great companies doing really amazing things to raise awareness for this cause. In fact, the transparency and conversation Edmonton's own Poppy Barley creates in their own line is the sole reason why I started to pay more attention to where I bought my clothes and how I vote with my dollar.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm nowhere near perfect - not many of us are. I work hard to support brands I know and love who from what I know, run their fashion businesses ethically but I do still shop from retailers where I'm not so sure what the standards are for their production, and what the conditions are for those who make their clothes. That being said, I wear the shit outta my clothes. I own pieces that come from companies whose policies I'm not as educated on as I should be, but I'm wearing them 3 years later. Fashion Revolution Week to me also brings to light thoughts on how quickly we tend to discard our clothes in favour of the newest trend.
Part of what I love about Poppy Barley is that they show that you can be ethical outside of Canada. Mexico maybe wouldn't be the first location to come to mind when you think of ethically made fashion and yet, they've done a great job at educating their customers about the way they run their business in Mexico.
For some brands such as Poppy Barley, their business has grown and been built on their transparency when it comes to how their product is made. For others however, that maybe isn't the forefront of their marketing plan and so, it's totally fine to ask "who made my clothes". I love this quote from Erinn, owner of Shop The Skinny "With the launch of our own branding of products, along with some women's items, we've taken considerable thought on this process and have taken the path to choose + create items based on ethical choices. Whether it comes from Canada, Spain, China, Poland or India we know that the people making them are being treated right. And we feel really good about that".
Just because a company might not make their ethics the forefront of their business and marketing, doesn't mean they haven't done their due diligence with their suppliers and warehouses. The first step to informing yourself as a consumer is to ask.
I know from my years of design background when I'd work quite closely with retailers who had furniture manufactured in China that you can manufacture ethically outside of North America, it just takes a little research and some groundwork. You can have ethically made goods all over the world so don't count out a company just because they don't manufacture in North America.
I think that Fash Rev Week is a great way to remind ourselves as consumers that we have a responsibility to support brands that support our values. Every day we vote with our dollar and to me, that means supporting local when I can but also allowing myself the realization that I'm not perfect and that's okay. Making these changes happens one step at a time and starts with informing ourselves.
Other ways to be more conscious of how we consume fashion and the impact that has would be to
-Shop second hand
-Repair old clothing rather than throw it out
-Buy pieces you LOVE that you will ACTUALLY WEAR time and time again
-Hold clothing swaps with your friends
I'm pretty early on in my journey to being a more responsible consumer and that counts not only for fashion but also with my beauty purchases and home and food purchases too (thank god for SPUD for taking some of the guess work outta that area!). So I challenge you this Fash Rev Week to make at least one small change. Research at least one brand or shop you shop at frequently and find out a bit more about their processes or make one purchase from a company that you know you can feel good supporting.
Happy Fash Rev Week everyone, and here's a little shoutout to a few of the Edmonton companies I can feel good supporting and whose pieces I personally own - what are some of your favourites? I know Edmonton has so many great ones!! Let me know in the comments :)
While I might not own pieces from these local brands and designers - I know they deserve some love as well