Shifting Industry Norms

How Fashion Revolution is Making it Viable.

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Words by Lisa Kjerulf.

As we approach the fourth anniversary of the collapse of the garment factory at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, a tragedy that left over 1,000 workers dead and more than 2,500 injured, it is important to reflect on where the fashion industry is headed…

Big brands have reached a point where they are now making compromises to keep prices down rather than making things better.

Consumers are overwhelmed with choice and therefore find it easier to just shut out the noise.

Small brands are left with little space to grow.

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Empowerment.

Orsola de Castro began the fashion revolution to open those horizons globally, not just for the small talents, but for the consumers and big brands as well. Ultimately fashion revolution acts as a service to bring people together. To start a conversation. To challenge the massive web of a system that happens to also be the second highest polluting industry behind oil.

Such a massive dilemma seems beyond measure. So, what was Orsola thinking when she decided to challenge this system with the simple question of #whomademyclothes?

People are either too busy or lazy and while it doesn’t mean they don’t care, if we want change to happen there needs to be a support system without limitations. People need tools to make it easier and they need to feel a connection within the community.

Orsola’s organization does just that. When you go to the fashion revolution site no one is left behind. There are resources galore for everyone involved within the industry, from individual consumers to the makers, to big brands, to the education system… And it doesn’t stop there. There are also easy step-by-step guides and toolkits for any avenue of action you choose. It’s a user experience that encourages creativity and co-creation.

No resource is restricted.

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Shifting Norms.

For big brands this means becoming more transparent to consumers and using it as an opportunity to gain a competitive edge within the industry. It’s the big brands who fueled an environment of compulsive shopping behavior which further lead to a degrading cycle of making faster and cheaper product at the cost of people and the environment. It’s the big brands who now must help turn that mindset around. To turn compulsive buyers into conscious buyers.

For Consumers, it means getting curious. It means finding out what’s going on and then doing something about it.

For the small talents, it means leading by example. Challenging the industry status quo by remaining true to their values and disrupting the industry by not growing too quickly or out of control. Without the complexities of big-business, who face turning entire supply chains around, these small labels have the ability to step in and be the leaders of change from the bottom up.

As a society, we need a conversation for the change to happen. It’s about bringing people together to challenge the entire system because as brands, big or small, consumers or makers, everyone has a part to play. It’s about shifting the mindset to better product and a rewiring of the system will require sector-wide collaboration.

It requires shifting norms.

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Do Something.

This year fashion revolution will be running from April 24th – April 29th and there are many ways to get involved whether it be by joining workshops, clothes swaps, film screenings, yoga or even just by taking a picture of yourself with your clothes label showing and asking #whomademyclothes?

To find out about more events that are happening near you, visit:

 

Words by Lisa Kjerulf.