Fashion Revolution Week educates people on the origins of their clothing – Florida Flambeau
Do you know where your clothes come from? Do you know whether or not your clothes were made with the best, most environmentally friendly fabrics or if they were made in the best working environments? The answers to these questions could be yes, no or maybe and it does not affect the fact that the environmental and social issues still exist within the fashion world. However, the answer to these questions can change how you react to buying your next article of clothing.
Last week was Fashion Revolution Week which challenges people the ask the question, “Who made my clothes?” This question has become the primary focus of Gail Steed’s “Responsible Consumption and Social Responsibility” class, which is a pretty ideal pairing. During this week, the students of the class spearheaded the campaign at FSU on social media.
The international campaign seeks to promote the idea of transparency when it comes to brands. According to the Fashion Revolution website, The Fashion Transparency Index 2017 is an index that goes through the top 100 most popular fashion retailers and ranks them based on the information they release about their suppliers, supply chain policies and social/environmental impact based on five factors (policy and commitments, governance, traceability, know, show and fix and spotlight issues). Unfortunately, this review does not shed much light on the issue as the average company has only scored 49 out of a possible 250, meaning most companies do not disclose much about where their clothing items come from.
However, while it might be easiest to go after the specific brands of our clothes, in reality they are just as in the dark about where their clothes come from as we are and usually hide behind the “Made in India” tag.
“It’s really about educating the consumer to care and then also educating the consumer to ask questions,” said Sophomore Retail, Merchandising and Product Development Major Jessica Bachansingh. “Because it’s hard for us to enforce our laws on international soil where these people are making the clothing. It’s really the sourcers, the ones who finds the material and all the parts of a garment and then works with a factory to get it for a cheaper price, who are making good decisions of good factories to work with and it has a lot to do with auditing. The people in the factory just put on a good front for when the auditor comes and actually inspect, but really behind closed doors they’re using child labor.”
Another aspect of the movement is the environmental aspect of irresponsible manufacturing.
“Most people don’t know that the fashion industry is actually the number two polluting industry in the world,” said Senior Retail, Merchandising and Product Development major Haley Slocum. “It’s just because of all the fast fashion retailers like Forever 21 and H&M. I think that the transparency in the industry has just gone completely blank and no one knows where their clothes are coming from and who their clothes are coming from and what the pollution has done to the world and how we need to change that.”
“It affects all ecological fronts,” said senior Retail, Merchandising and Product Development Maiya Carmichael. “It affects weather, it affects air but most importantly it affects people, because they don’t work in the best conditions and on top of that they dye, they sew and they make our clothes and those chemicals and dyes wash into their water and go into their air, so you’re killing them twice; you’re overworking them and you’re poisoning their water that can give them cancer and other harmful diseases.”
All in all, the fashion revolution really shows the effects our clothing choices have on the world and how important it is to know exactly where and how our clothes got to us.