{fashion revolution} take action: ask "who made my clothes?"

today marks the beginning of fashion revolution week, which brings people together from all over the world to use the power of fashion to change the story for the 75 million garment workers who toil in the apparel industry every day in perilous + unsafe working conditions

Fashion revolution is a movement towards transparency, ethics and sustainability in the world of fast fashion.

fashion revolution seeks to inspire people to think differently about the clothes they buy + wear. they ask citizens + consumers to explore the cause + effect relationship between our purchasing habits and the lives of those who make our clothes. fashion revolution encourages each of us to use our money and our voices to transform the fashion industry into a force for good. 

today we commemorate the 1,134 workers who lost their lives when a garment factory in bangladesh collapsed. thousands more were injured. nervous workers had stepped out on this day after cracks in the building were detected, but were ordered back into the building by management. why? for the production of low cost clothing.

here's what you can do to become a part of the solution

put your activism pants on + let the world know you will be a voice for those who cannot speak. here are six simple steps:

1. take a pic

take a picture of yourself wearing one of your favorite items of clothing turned inside out, with the label in full view. hop on social media and post the pic asking fashion labels "who made my clothes?"

2. abstain

an important way to contribute involves what not to do. over consumption feeds the demand for apparel manufacture, with shoe + clothing companies racing to meet customer demand and forcing factory workers to labor for long hours in dangerous conditions to meet production deadlines. so this, my friends, is the moment to embrace quality over quantity. shop less + shop your own closet.

3. act

beyond conscious consumerism, learn how to engage decision makers by calling representatives and sending emails to government officials. this provocative + clear-eyed article by alden wicker of eco cult urges us to take immediate action in the political sphere + to become active citizens in the campaign towards policy + legislative change. 

become more politically involved by thinking beyond ethical purchases.

4. ask

one of my fave eco heroes + clean fashion advocates is kate black. kate has a column on her blog magnifeco "ask kate" in which you can send questions about the world of sustainable style + ethical fashion. she provides honest + practical advice for compassionate living.

5. read

the most seminal book i've read since embarking on this sustainable living + ethical fashion journey is to die for: is fashion wearing out the world? by journalist, environmentalist + slow fashion activist lucy siegle. each chapter changed the way i think about my consumer habits and how i choose to spend my money, time + energy. knowledge is the start to making thoughtful decisions as an active citizen.

6. research

remember to look for fair trade labels to ensure decent working conditions + fair terms of trade for farmers and workers. if you can't find a label, be sure to ask a manager or customer service representative. when you walk into a restaurant, you are able to ask about the ingredients in your menu offering. in the same way, you should be able to walk into a shop {or browse online} and find out more about the clothes you may invest your money in. if a retailer doesn't respond to my email inquiries, then i shop at those companies where transparency is a part of their mission.

learn more about the families + brave survivors of the rana plaza disaster. financial donations to fashion revolution can be made here to continue the work of disseminating information + spreading awareness.

{artwork by ev / image via fashion revolution}