Three Re­sources

Three re­sources that will change your mind about the fast

mailife - - Contents - By VANISHA MISHRA-VAKAOTI

How of­ten do you buy new cloth­ing? Ac­cord­ing to James Wall­man, au­thor of Stuffo­ca­tion “it’s com­mon for peo­ple to buy a new item of cloth­ing ev­ery four to five days”. Six years ago I would have eas­ily fit into this cat­e­gory, buy­ing a few items a week, or for ev­ery oc­ca­sion that arose. Last year I set my­self a goal of pur­chas­ing only one item per month, by the end of the year I had gone close to six months with­out hav­ing bought any new cloth­ing. I started spend­ing a lot more time look­ing into where my clothes came from, what they were made of and the philoso­phies of the com­pa­nies that made them. Why does it mat­ter that we know who makes our clothes, how and with what? Whilst the rea­sons for this cu­rios­ity is dif­fer­ent for ev­ery­one, per­son­ally I want to know that the peo­ple who made my clothes can af­ford to buy the clothes that they made, that they have made a de­cent and liv­ing wage while mak­ing said cloth­ing. It mat­ters to me that chil­dren are not in­volved in the mak­ing of my cloth­ing and that the adults who make the clothes do so in safe en­vi­ron­ments. Com­ing from the Pa­cific, I care about the farm­ing pro­cesses used to grow the cot­ton that my clothes are made from. While there have been sig­nif­i­cant changes in the fash­ion in­dus­try with more de­sign­ers pay­ing at­ten­tion to the ethics of fash­ion, it can be quite daunt­ing for the or­di­nary con­sumer to un­der­stand ex­actly what all the fuss is about. With all the in­for­ma­tion avail­able I’ve nar­rowed down three re­sources that make a great start point­ing to un­der­stand­ing the cloth­ing and tex­tile in­dus­try.

Book | Over­dressed: The Shock­ing High Cost of Cheap Fash­ion – El­iz­a­beth L. Cline

One of the most in­for­ma­tive books that I’ve come across on the world of fast fash­ion and its con­se­quences for the en­vi­ron­ment, our health, and fi­nances. Cline found that half of the con­tents of our wardrobes are now made of plas­tic – in the form of polyester. While you might ar­gue that plas­tic is re­cy­clable, Cline ar­gues that its pro­duc­tion is not en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly or safe. Over­dressed takes the reader from the de­cline of lo­cal man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­tries to the in­ner

work­ings of the fast fash­ion in­dus­try, the con­se­quences of fast fash­ion and what be­comes of our clothes once we’ve parted with them. Cline of­fers rec­om­men­da­tions about what we as con­sumers can do to make a dif­fer­ence and what we need to know to make bet­ter choices for our­selves, our fam­i­lies and our en­vi­ron­ment. The book is writ­ten in a non-judge­men­tal tone and be­gins with Cline con­fess­ing her own pur­chase of seven pairs of $7 shoes.

Doc­u­men­tary | The True Cost

The True Cost is “a story about cloth­ing”. It is an ex­cep­tional doc­u­men­tary that not only asks us to con­sider who re­ally pays the price for our cloth­ing, but also why our cloth­ing costs what it does. The doc­u­men­tary is filmed glob­ally and cap­tures the re­al­i­ties of the cloth­ing in­dus­try from farms, fac­to­ries and fash­ion run­ways to our wardrobes, even­tu­ally be­ing cast off to char­ity stores and ul­ti­mately shipped to de­vel­op­ing coun­tries. The en­tire life­cy­cle of cloth­ing and the fash­ion in­dus­try is pre­sented in an hour and thirty min­utes. The doc­u­men­tary is rated PG13 mak­ing it ideal to watch with your age-ap­pro­pri­ate chil­dren. Like me you might feel in­clined to watch it twice. My first view­ing of the movie left me shocked and frus­trated, it wasn’t un­til I watched it for the sec­ond time that I was bet­ter able to ab­sorb more of the de­tail. You can view the trailer of The True Cost at http://true­cost­movie.com/

Web­site | Fash­ion Rev­o­lu­tion http:// fash­ion­rev­o­lu­tion.org/

The Fash­ion Rev­o­lu­tion move­ment was a re­sult of the 2013 Rana Plaza catas­tro­phe. On 24 April 2013 over 2,500 peo­ple were in­jured and 1,134 peo­ple killed when the eight story com­mer­cial build­ing (Rana Plaza) which housed gar­ment fac­to­ries in Dhaka, Bangladesh col­lapsed. The in­ci­dent has been la­belled the dead­li­est gar­ment fac­tory ac­ci­dent in his­tory. Ev­ery year 24 April is Fash­ion Rev­o­lu­tion Day, when tens of thou­sands of peo­ple all over the world ask brands #whomade­my­clothes The Fash­ion Rev­o­lu­tion move­ment ar­gues that the lack of trans­parency costs lives, with many brands not know­ing where items used to man­u­fac­ture their gar­ments have come from. With­out know­ing where the el­e­ments used in pro­duc­tion are com­ing from it is im­pos­si­ble for com­pa­nies to en­sure eth­i­cal pro­cesses and pro­ce­dures. The web­site con­tains re­sources and de­tails about the move­ment as well as how you can get in­volved. Once we un­der­stand the im­pli­ca­tions of the de­ci­sions we make about the clothes we choose to buy it be­comes eas­ier to turn our backs on the idea of fast fash­ion and over­con­sump­tion.

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