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Fashion Revolution Week: An Opportunity To Rethink Our Clothes

Fashion Revolution Week: An Opportunity To Rethink Our Clothes

Fashion is a unique art form that allows us to express our personality and showcase our individuality. It’s also a reflection of the times that we live in. It seeks to appreciate the intricacies that go into designing and producing  clothes. Fashion, therefore, is not just a trend, but a way of life. 

It has, however, been increasingly getting the limelight for the wrong reasons, on account of the fast fashion industry. The fast fashion industry, with its constant production and consumption, is terribly unsustainable and harmful to both people and the planet. It relies on cheap labour,  which is often outsourced to developing countries, with little to no regulation on workers’ rights. To produce tons of clothes, it guzzles up resources such as water, energy and raw materials. The pursuit of fast fashion is not only unsustainable, but it's also damaging to the planet and the people who inhabit it.

Fashion Revolution Week: 

Fashion Revolution Week is a global movement that aims to raise awareness about the true cost of fashion and advocate for a more sustainable and ethical fashion industry. It was founded in response to the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh on 24th April, 2013, which claimed the lives of 1,138 people and injured many more. This year is particularly significant as it marks 10 years since the Rana Plaza tragedy. The theme of this year’s Fashion Revolution week is - Manifesto for a fashion revolution.

“Fashion Revolution Week was founded in response to the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh on 24th April, 2013, which claimed the lives of 1,138 people and injured many more.”

In 2018, a 10-point manifesto was crafted to express the mission for a global fashion industry that prioritises environmental conservation, human values and quality over growth and profit. Since then, the movement has garnered support from more than 14,000 individuals, who share the vision to turn these principles to action. As the movement nears a decade of advocating for transformative changes in the fashion industry, it is gathering their global community to delve into each point of the manifesto to help take concrete actions. This ranges from fair wages to supply chain transparency to textile waste and cultural appropriation and many more. 

Challenging the idea of fast fashion: Say hello to slow fashion! 

As a first step to make changes, we need to start being more mindful of the choices that we make. Generation Z, particularly, is becoming more mindful and asking manufacturers the right questions like: “What’s in my products?” The emerging conscious millennial population wants to align itself to certain causes by virtue of its consumption choices. Additionally, we have also seen the rise of the slow fashion movement in response to the fast fashion industry’s negative impact on people and the planet. We can see more folks asking questions like, “Who made my clothes?” “How much did they earn in the process?” And even, “What’s in my clothes?” 

In India, our artisans and those employed in the textile industry make up the second-largest percentage of employed Indians, after agricultural workers. The country is also home to many amazing textile arts – ikat, bandhani, khadi, block print etc. – with each state having their own form. We are definitely seeing that millennials and Gen Z are more aware – they’re shopping less, shopping more mindfully, choosing to support the local economy and understanding the value behind long-term benefits as opposed to short-term benefits. 

“We can see more folks asking questions like, “Who made my clothes?” “How much did they earn in the process?” And even, “What’s in my clothes?” 

Slow fashion embraces the concept of “less is more” and promotes mindful consumption. It is a gradual departure from the “throwaway culture” that has now become synonymous with fast fashion, emphasising the importance of durable, timeless pieces that can be worn for years to come. The slow fashion movement is not only a more sustainable approach to fashion, but it is also an ethical one. It recognizes that the fashion industry's production practices have a direct impact on people's lives, from factory workers to small-scale farmers. By promoting fair and just labor practices and supporting small businesses, the slow fashion movement is striving to create a more equitable and just industry.

“The slow fashion movement is not only a more sustainable approach to fashion, but it is also an ethical one.” 

In a world where fast fashion has become the norm, the slow fashion movement offers an alternative that is not only better for the planet but also for people. By choosing to support slow fashion, we can make a positive impact on the world and contribute to a more sustainable and equitable future.

This Fashion Revolution Week, let’s actively decide to rethink our relationship with fashion and embrace a more sustainable and circular approach to fashion. 

This can include:

  • Buying secondhand clothes, 
  • Repairing and upcycling clothes
  • Choosing clothes made from sustainable and ethical materials. 
  • Brands are encouraged to adopt circular business models, such as rental and resale, and to prioritize sustainable and ethical production methods.
  • Embracing slow fashion 

By making conscious choices, we can reduce our impact on the environment and help to create a better future for everyone.

A big shout out to amazing organizations and initiatives who are actively trying to be part of the solution:

  • Fashion Revolution India 
  • Fair trade india 
  • 200 million artisans 

We recently had the opportunity to take part in a roundtable discussion on ‘Craft in the age of Climate Crisis’; The British Council and Fashion Revolution India collaborated to host an event in Bangalore that focused on the craft sector’s response to global crises. The event aimed to address the worldwide climate challenges by promoting a more sustainable and fair alternative to the existing fashion industry.  

Brands we love: