Today is Earth Day. A day we all should take as an opportunity to do something for the planet that is feeding, housing and clothing us, that is providing for us. Without Earth and her generosity, we would not exist. And we are a part of nature, not apart.
Which is why today I would like to ask you to consider your consumption habits. To maybe start doing one fashion related thing for more sustainability.
When I started looking at the production of fashion, especially the lower price tier brands I was appalled. People (mostly women) working under almost slave like conditions. And not only in so called 3rd World countries, no right under our noses here in Europe. From what I read, the U.S has their share of sweat shops too.
Toxic dyes being led directly into rivers because where they are, no one but those poor sobs that live downstream and whose livelihood depends on that river care (truth be told, in a chain of events that stuff sooner or later effects a whole many more people it just takes awhile to arrive at your backyard) Corrupt governments, sure, but I just as much blame the company that gave the order for 23445656840 pieces of a blue dyed top to sell for 4€, because let's be honest, if they can sell it for 4€ and make profit, just how much is left for the production chain? And the worker that's at the bottom of that chain? Could you live of that? Well neither can they really, even tho their country is "cheaper". They survive, just tho. Kinda. That's pretty close to slavery.
Of course, if you confront them they are all like "Oh we didn't know that, we highly value blablabla, all our contractors are asked to uphold high standards, they must have taken subcontractors etc. We Company X, are innocent". Trust me. If I know about those practises, they know about those practises. At least some seem to take steps into the right direction thanks to public outcries.
My Capsule Wardrobe Experiment and the 8 Piece Funky Wardrobe (now 12) were born because of what I found out about fashion production, the impact it has on lives and the planet and a good hard look at myself, my whys and my hows.
Once I started to speak out (moderately I thought) about these things and promoted less shopping and consumption, I became somewhat of a persona non grata. Ehmbeh, I calculated that in. It doesn't take rocket science to understand that for a company that survives by making the ordinary people buy always and ever more crap (it's crap, mostly, that doesn't last you the season) a blogger that talks about mindful spending & consuming and aiming for less but better isn't the best promoter. Some "co-operations" I cancelled on my own because I - just - couldn't. Others I would have kept, but alas the company decided otherwise. I don't regret my decision. The Earth and the people that are suffering so we can have masses of cheap products, fashion or otherwise, are worth more to me than what I got from some of these co-operations.
So today on Earth Day I would like to ask you to do some research yourself into the conditions under which the big mass of clothing is made. Research local alternatives. For Germany/Europe: I've bought some items from Hess Natur and am happy with the quality. They also offer for today to either save 20% or donate 20% of your basket to WWF.
If you cannot afford the prices of some eco labels, I understand, especially in regards to kids clothes, so just consider buying less. Really think about whether you having those additional two tops is worth the price that's behind that small price tag. Maybe you can just be as happy in your other tops. Beauty doesn't come from fancy clothes alone.
Start with one small thing today that changes your habits towards more eco-friendly. It doesn't have to be clothes necessarily, but hey, this was/is a fashion blog, so that's my entry point. And don't tell me that you are just a small wheel in the machine, that you alone cannot change the world. Because I will reply you "Right, but when you start and I start and 100.000 other people start ... that's surely going to make an impact." I always have to think about the ending of Bug's Life in those cases. The single ant wasn't stronger than the grasshopper and so they lived in fear and servitude. Once they realised that they are a hell of a lot more ants than grasshoppers ... well the reign of the hoppers ended.
Some things to start today:
- buy less
- walk more
- turn of the tap whilst brushing those teeth
- turn of the light when you leave a room and don't go back immediately
- plant something
- research clothing production
- research food production (do you know what goes in there and how it's sourced, i.e. palm oil?)