Interest in green economies, sustainable products and ethical commitments are undeniably growing. But, while consumer awareness for sustainability is rampant, does the talk translate into action? Have conscious consumers actually changed their buying habits to promote sustainability? Not necessarily, it seems.
I'm the girl who believes that the planet and its people are more important than a few extra things in my closet but I was not born from a rock hugging trees and growing my own food. I wasn't born an activist -- in fact, I'm non-confrontational, a bit timid and I don't always remember to recycle. And yet, I broke up with fast fashion.
In Dhaka and other big production centres, the garment workers have a measure of economic autonomy, often the sole support of their families. They want to keep their jobs. They want us to keep buying the clothes they make. They have never called for a boycott. What they want to change is their poor wages and despicably unsafe working condition. And thus was born The FAST Campaign a series of art projects leading to consumer activism -- a demand for a FAIR living wage; ADULT labour only, SAFE working conditions, and no unpaid over-TIME.
In my opinion, the appropriate wage would be set against local economics to cover basic living conditions like food, housing, and healthcare, and ensure that people can take care of their families without having to work multiple jobs. I asked three experts to answer the question, what is a fair wage? Three distinct ways to rethink fair wages emerged.
The recent collapse of a multi-storey factory in Bangladesh was a tipping point for a trend of transparency in retail. Shoppers vote with their dollars, and have the power to shift marketplace trends. But if you lack the knowledge to enforce that power, you might as well be powerless. Don't worry: There are apps for that.
I love fashion. But I have a confession: I haven't bought anything new for a very long time. It's not that I don't want to, it's just that I can't find what I want. Well, that's not exactly accurate. I can find plenty of things I like, but almost nothing that I love. Because love for me is about more than how something looks.
I won entrance into the pre-shop for the highly coveted Margiela collection at H&M the night before it opened to the public. We had four in our group, but it was everyone for themselves on the second floor. I did quite well climbing through racks and saying "sorry" compulsively to trick people into thinking I was polite and not a blood-hungry Margiela fiend.
Face it: we as a collective are addicted to discounts. Fashion's Night Out is an attempt by the industry to show another side, the side that has almost been lost and overshadowed by an industry now built on sales. Why is it that we are often more proud of how good we are at deal-hunting than we are about the actual qualities of the clothes we buy? And trust me, someone is paying for that $10 top, even if it isn't you.