Our sense of fashion is an outward portrayal of how we view the world around us and in turn, how we want the world to see us. If you wear clothes on a daily basis, you are a long term stakeholder in the fashion industry - whether you like it or not.
An industry with an estimated worth of $2.4 trillion annually and, shamefully, one of the most harmful for our environment and prevalent in exponential disregard for basic human rights.
There are approximately 40 million garment workers, globally, today.
In 2013, the cracks in the fashion industry were put front and centre on the global stage with the devastating collapse of the Rana Plaza. The disaster shone a spotlight on the industry's inability to provide safe and sanitary factory environments for workers in impoverished communities - and more disturbingly the lack of care by those with the power to make a change, even when faced with the mass murder of over 1300 workers due to an extreme case of neglect and value of human life.
This terrifying reality is being driven in droves by Fast Fashion. This global phenomenon results in more and more brands searching for the cheapest and quickest option to manufacture goods in a bid to keep up with our consumer demands for ever changing trends (and a desire to score a bargain!). The days of traditional seasonal collections begin to feel further and further away.
The introduction of genetically modified seeds and organisms into the Indian cotton farming industry by global brands has indirectly led over 200,000 farmers to commit suicide since 1997.
Waste - let’s not even go there.
The impact our consumer habits and fast fashion is having on our environment and our global community is in no way, shape or form, sustainable.
The concept of ethical fashion and fair trade is no longer a simply a nice idea, it’s our responsibility. It’s our responsibility to remember our humanity and in turn to do our part in protecting the human rights of those who work tirelessly to provide the garments we live our daily lives in.
By simply having an open and inquisitive heart, we are setting ourselves up to succeed in future proofing the fashion industry in terms of humanitarianism, waste and caring for our environment.
Fast Fashion needs to be a fad of the past. We are the generation who needs to make it so.
By Abby Parkin. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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