Written by Cady Brimacombe of Cady Made
Before I started business school, I didn’t know much about fashion and sustainability. Throughout my degree I developed an interest in the fashion industry and the business behind it. I also developed a passion for sustainability and sustainable practices I began to realize that many production practices in the fashion industry are rather harmful to people and the planet. In 2018 the global apparel and footwear industries are responsible for approximately 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions meaning that it is one of the most polluting industries in the world. The fashion industry relies on industries like GMO cotton (read about the pros and cons of GMO cotton here), oil and gas, and leather to make their fabrics which require a lot of water processing and heating to be made. It takes about 2700 liters of water to make one cotton t-shirt which is approximately the amount of water one person will drink in two and a half years and “a polyester shirt has more than double the carbon footprint of a cotton shirt”. So not only are the materials and processes in manufacturing fashion (especially fast fashion) unhealthy for the planet, but our buying habits around fast fashion are also unhealthy for the planet. Between 2000 and 2014 clothing production doubled and the amount of clothing purchased by individuals increased approximately 60%. But who is making all these clothes that are being consumed? In our first world countries where clothing comes from a store, the people who make our clothes tend to be removed from our buying experience.
When the Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed on April 24th 2013, the world started to take notice about the unsafe working conditions affecting many garment workers. These are the garment workers who are making the clothing sold at our favourite fast fashion stores. Five years later, the world is still working to make a difference in the fashion industry. One such organization, Fashion Revolution, has started a global movement to recognize those who make our clothing, and is bringing people together to make a difference for garment workers and the planet. Read all about the Canadian team here.
April 23rd to April 29th 2018 marks the fifth annual Fashion Revolution Week. Fashion Revolution Week is a worldwide event that focuses on bringing people together to ask #whomademyclothes and create a more transparent fashion industry.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED THIS FASHION REVOLUTION WEEK
Join the Fashion Revolution! Come to The Makehouse on Saturday April 28th for the Fashion Revolution Make-A-Thon and support the volunteers who will be making tote bags in support of the Indigenous Perspectives Society.
Join in the Make-A-Thon:
- Donate materials for the project – drop off cotton, canvas, linen or denim at The Makehouse. We are also looking for cash donations to help with marketing, printing labels and other expenses such as webbing (to make handles), thread and interfacing.
- Book Your Team of 2 – At least one of you must have experience and be able to operate a sewing machine independently. The Makehouse crew will walk you through the project. If you don’t have a partner, please get in touch and we’ll pair you up! Book your station online: https://themakehouse.configio.com/pd/273/fashion-revolution-week-make-a-thon
- Come see how our team of volunteers are doing and cheer them on!
There will be door prizes for the volunteers sewists on the day including a seat at an IPS Cultural perspectives training session including lunch ($250 value).
OTHER WAYS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE:
1. Ask #whomademyclothes. Use this hashtag to highlight your favourite brands who are making a difference and to ask brands about their practices if you want to find out more about. Get people talking about transparency in the fashion industry.
2. Print a poster. Fashion Revolution has a variety of resources that will inspire you to take action. Share your Fashion Love Story, print out a #whomademyclothes poster, try a #haulternative, or write a postcard to a policymaker to inspire action and change in your fashion community.
I will be hanging out at The Makehouse on Saturday morning for the Make-A-Thon! Come along with me, join in the festivities, and let’s continue making a difference in our global fashion community.
See you there!
Article written in partnership with The Makehouse. (cady made only)