HOW TO BECOME A FASHION REVOLUTIONIST

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Today is the last day of Fashion Revolution Week and I’m feeling reflective on what it all means. How do we truly become fashion revolutionists?

It all starts with a question. Who made my clothes?

It’s that first spark of curiosity that we should know more, do more.

For me, it was the purchase of a single shirt that was the spark, and the collapse of Rana Plaza – four years and a week ago today – that fuelled it to a flame.

Who made my clothes? Four years on, I’m so glad more of us have this burning question.

And what next?

It’s about thinking outside the box, going against the grain, resisting the status quo and all those other cliches. It’s about walking past Forever New and Forever 21 and saying, you’re forever selling the same cheap shit, and I want more for myself and the people that sew my clothes. Because I respect them as my fellow humans. And also because I don’t want to be dressed as a copy of my fellow humans on the fast fashion treadmill.

It’s about finding a (h)aulternative. It’s about looking to vintage options and feeling smug when you find something one-of-a-kind. It’s about shopping your best friend’s wardrobe and convincing her to give you that dress you love but she thinks looks weird on her, as long as you swap her that top that was good in theory but when you try to wear it – well, let’s not talk about it. It’s about hiring a dress to wear to your boss’ wedding because you know you’re only going to wear that thing once anyway.

It’s about being creative.┬áIt’s about recyling and upcycling, having an ambitious-but-ultimately infuriating attempt at your first DIY and relishing the chance to proudly announce, I made this when someone compliments you on it.

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It’s about respect. It’s about treasuring the items you own (even when you’re bored of them) and sharing your love story with anyone that asks until it’s interesting and valuable to you again. It’s about recognising that broken can still be beautiful and putting in a bit of effort to mend something, because that’s what you’d do for a family member, your friend, your partner if they were broken.

It’s about slowing down. Stopping treating your clothes as something to be used and disposed and care for them* as if they are your own children. Or plants. Or puppies.

It’s about continuing to use that voice. Who made my clothes? Tweet brands from your bed and ignore anyone that calls you out for being a clicktivist because you write letters** too and anyway, you know that small actions can be powerful.

Yours Fairly,

Ashlee

* Clothing care guide coming soon.

** Template letter – who made my clothes

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2 Comments

  1. May 7, 2017 / 10:24 AM

    Great post! I’ve been trying to stick to ethical fashion as much as I can for awhile now. I’ve shopped mainly at op shops for years and purchased the odd very expensive but sustainable item. It’s quite a difficult thing to keep up with in terms of money for a lot of people but I hope more and more come to see why it’s so important we stop funding fast fashion. The more people talk about it, the more people will hear about it so good on you!

    • Ashlee
      May 9, 2017 / 6:01 PM

      Thanks very much, Cait! I’m pleased to hear you enjoyed the post. Sometimes I feel that buying ethical fashion requires a bit of discipline because it’s certainly easier and cheaper to not do it (at least in the beginning)! I find I actually save money now, because my mindset has changed from one of notiing ‘lack’, to one of appreciating how much I actually have, and how it works for me. More and more, I use op shopping to fill any real gaps or needs, because I also find myself wanting to contribute less to the cycle of making and wasting more ‘stuff’. I’d love to hear more about how you go about it! I hope you pop by again!

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