A global fashion movement calling for an equitable and transparent fashion system for people and the planet, this year’s Fashion Revolution Week explores the theme ‘Money Fashion Power’.
Inspired by the archival fanzine of the same name, the theme highlights the mainstream fashion industry’s relationship with labour and natural resources, encouraging consumers and brands to take action towards a regenerative, restorative and revolutionary new fashion system.
There are many ways in which we can take action to make mindful fashion choices to honour the makers of clothes and be kinder to the environment. Read on to discover more.
1. Learning from sustainable resources
Many resources are available to educate yourself on why the fashion industry is under great scrutiny to clean up its act, and empower you to make sustainable choices.
Firstly, the annually-released Ethical Fashion Report grades clothing companies on various criteria, including worker empowerment, environmental sustainability, and supplier auditing.
Books to read include Consumed by Aja Barber, which discusses the oppressive nature of the fashion industry and how we can challenge the way we consume. There’s also Loved Clothes Last by Orsola de Castro, shining a spotlight on how we can mend, re-wear, and breathe new life into the clothes we already own.
The True Cost is an eye-opening documentary that pulls back the curtain on the fashion industry. This confronting and impactful film will undoubtedly influence how you consume clothes.
You can also tune into @fash_rev_newzealand’s Instagram live at 12pm on Wednesday 20 April for a discussion on fashion influencers and the role they have to play in the current fashion crisis.
2. Shifting mindsets and behaviours
According to a recent local sustainability report by Levi’s, forty five per cent of New Zealanders will still purchase clothes that are cheaper in value despite the shorter lifespan, which is a worry when half of the fast fashion that’s produced globally in a year is disposed of. A shift in attitudes and wearing clothes twice as long could see consumers reduce their environmental impact by 44%.
When it comes to curating a sustainable wardrobe, check out Fashion Quarterly’s guide to auditing your wardrobe. Look to the professionals for tips on getting the most out of vintage and retro shopping excursions, and discover our favourite designer resale sites.
Consider clothing rental services if you’re after an outfit for a one-off occasion, invest in made-to-order for a garment created especially for you, and work on shifting your consumption mindset, including moving away from impulse purchasing.
Care for the clothes you already own to extend their longevity, and seek out complimentary repair services from labels like Kowtow and Kate Sylvester.
3. Engaging in sustainable advocacy
Don’t be afraid to ask questions from brands, not just this week, but any time of the year. For brands that already have a comprehensive sustainability policy on their website, if something doesn’t quite make sense to you, don’t be afraid to contact them for clarification. From experience, most brands will be happy you’re reaching out, and your questions may even inform their future decision-making.
You can also create awareness on social media and encourage brands to pay workers living wages by tagging them in your outfit post and asking them the question, ‘who made my clothes?’, using the hashtag ‘#WhoMadeMyClothes’. Research shows that brands pay attention to customer demands, and continued calls for transparency can influence significant changes.
Another way to show solidarity with the people working in fashion supply chains is to push for legislative change by emailing your local member of parliament. Use Fashion Revolution’s policymaker postcard template to draft your message.
4. Supporting sustainable makers
Shop with sustainable businesses and local makers who pay their makers a living wage and are transparent about who makes their clothes. Check out the hashtag ‘#IMadeYourClothes’ on Instagram to research brands that align with your values.
Closer to home, Grey Lynn store ‘Further Doings Studio’ is hosting a pop-up from 19 April to 16 May 2022 to support Fashion Revolution Week. The pop-up will showcase upcycled, recycled, and vintage fashion and accessories made by local creators for purchase.