FashRev'22: Day 2
Contrary to the price you may find on your fast fashion price tags, making clothing is not cheap. Making clothing is energy intensive, labour exploitative, and costly. Upon receiving an order, many factories take out a loan in order to cover the costs of production, hoping to make a marginal profit once they hand over the end product to the global fashion brand that made the order. Prior to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, many big brands and retailers placed in their orders to these factories as per usual but refused to accept the finished products and failed to pay what they owed as the pandemic evolved and sales began to drop - leaving many of these factory owners deeply burdened with debt. This ignited the #PayYourWorkers campaign which called for fast fashion companies to pay their dues - many of whom have yet to do so despite end-of-year profits amounting to millions and even billions of dollars.
Moreover, the pressures they face from these big retailers to constantly lower their prices beyond their capacity has forced many factory owners to cut corners to make ends meet; by cutting corners, we mean cutting corners on safety standards and sufficient pay to their workers.
On day 2 of Fashion Revolution Week, we urge you to reevaluate your consumption choices, and begin to ask yourself the following questions:
1. How much did you pay for your item?
If the price tag is too good to be true, then most probably - it is. If you didn't have to pay for it, somebody else did. Often the case, it is the labourer who made your item who had to bear the cost of your cheap clothes by working more than he or she should have and accepting less than what he or she deserved. And if it wasn't the labourer who bared the cost, then it could be the environment, unsustainably extracted to offer you the raw materials that went into the making of your clothes or degraded with hazardous toxins at the end stages of production when all the toxins were thrown back into the environment as toxic waste.
2. How much is it worth to you?
What is the value you place on your items? Before you buy something, do you stop to consider the environmental, industrial, logistical and social cost of the item? Do you check the labels to see where it was made or what it was made from? Do you feel that the cost of your price tag is far too low to cover all the other costs that went into the making and sale of your item?
Watch: The story of Stuff
"From its extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes the connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world. It’ll teach you something, it’ll make you laugh, and it just may change the way you look at all the stuff in your life forever."
Listen: Wardrobe Crisis podcast
EP 164 FEATURES WORKERS’ RIGHTS CAMPAIGNER INEKE ZELDENRUST
You probably already know that the fashion industry has problems! Issues ranging from low pay, unsafe working conditions, gender discrimination, bullying and intimidation, exploitation, lack of social security, the list is endless!
What’s the answer?
Tune into this conversation between Clare Press and Ineke Zeldunrust, the Coordinator of Clean Clothes Campaign, and find out!
1. Loved Clothes Last
The Ultimate guide from Fashion Revolution activist Orsola De Castro on how to love, mend and repair your clothes in order to rid yourself of the habits contributing to the destructive cycle of fast fashion.
Are you running out of space for the clothes you can't stop buying? Curious about how you can make a difference to the environmental challenges facing our planet?
Join Orsola's care revolution and learn to make the clothes you love, last longer.
Order the book on the SANDE Bookshop here
2. Clothing Poverty
Have you ever wondered where your clothes end up after you donate them to charity?
Following a pair of jeans, Clothing Poverty takes the reader on a journey that exposes the hidden trade networks which transect the globe, revealing how your recycled donations are actually contributing to the perpetuation of poverty.
Order the book on the SANDE Bookshop here