To keep a blog about fair fashion and sustainability is often a „Preaching to the Choire“. Mostly people come to my site who are interested in my topics, who already have previous knowledge and would like to get more tips or would like to learn more about a certain topic.
But these people often already know a lot about fair fashion and don’t need to be convinced. They like to be inspired and know what to expect.
So what do you say to someone for whom „fair fashion“ is not a term and who hasn’t even thought about it yet? Someone who wonders whether fair fashion makes sense at all? Not so easy at all. But it’s best to start at the very beginning and tell the story of a small revolution.
Beginning of the Fair Fashion Revolution
It’s relatively easy to set the start of a certain fair fashion revolution on a date when a lot of things have started to change. In April 2013, a factory building, the Rana Plaza in Sabhar, Bangladesh, collapsed.
Anyone who has ever looked at the labels on their garments will find that (at least until a few years ago) most of the pieces came from conventional brands (Zara, Mango, H&M) from Bangladesh.
Over 1000 dead
More than 1000 people died and more than 2000 were injured in this factory accident, which was finally bad enough that the Western World learned about it.
In this sewing factory thousands of uninsured, poorly paid Indians produced textiles for many well-known brands such as Zara, Mango, Kik, NKD, C&A or Primark. Yes, read correctly.
So if you bought a shirt from Zara in 2013, it may well be that the person who sewed it died for it. To put it dramatically but realistically.
The Rest of the world learns about it
This terrible event has made such high waves that something was finally set in motion. Many labels signed a security agreement allowing seamstresses to stop work in case of acute danger.
This was not the case in Rana Plaza – despite a police ban, the workers there had been forced to enter the half-broken building, otherwise they would simply have been fired.
The incident was so big in the media that anyone who had a television could hear about it. Even if it was much more comfortable, you couldn’t miss the misery we had caused ourselves. At least not completely.
The first step
And so the first step in the great rethinking that is still taking place and must happen was taken. Don’t look away anymore.
One of the biggest influences in the fair fashion movement in Austria was the blogger Daria Daria. She had already reached a very large readership (around 180,000 clicks a month) as a fashion blogger and, after watching a documentary about poison in our clothes, conventional brands and exploitative circumstances, she did not want to offer a stage to all of this any more.
She made her rethinking public, was able to generate a lot of attention and is now one of the great role models for sustainability, fair fashion and zero waste in the German-speaking world. Only lately she even entered the political world.
Fair Outfit by thokkthokk / The Handy Houseman
A Blogger Revolution
Many bloggers followed her, bloggers and readers of her blog. At last something had opened up that we had never seen before in our consumer delusion, in the blinding of capitalism.
The door to a reflection that almost no one had ever made: Who produces our clothes where, and what does that mean?
That €5 for a T-shirt can’t guarantee anyone a good life is obvious if you think about it honestly and openly for a moment.
But no one has ever done that with enough reach. We are too lazy, too cosy. We have everything right in front of us, at the cheapest prices. Isn’t it logical that someone else has to pay for our low prices?
For a long time there have been the these prejudices about fair brands: Fair fashion looks like hippies, is extremely expensive and difficult to find. But it’s getting easier and easier to disagree with these prejudices.
Stylish fair fashion is reality. (Check out the link in the menu to view my favorite sustainable brands)
There are fair fashion companies all over Europe that produce under fair conditions and with non-toxic colours, sell at reasonable prices and above all produce really cool clothes.
With great colours, incredibly good cuts and above all beautiful fabrics. Brands where you know that everything has been done right. To name just a few: Knowledge Cotton Apparel, hessnatur, Armed Angels, bleed, Jan n‘ June … Some of these brands are even available in big department stores like Kastner & Öhler in Graz or Peek & Cloppenburg in Vienna.
You can get fair fashion everywhere, the often difficult online shopping is no longer a must.
Why fair fashion?
And why does that suit all of us?
That’s easy: Finally we support local traders, workers and artists again. We wear non-toxic clothes and can simply feel comfortable, knowing that no one has to starve or suffer for our trousers and no poison gets into the environment or onto our skin.
Fair fashion must become the new standard. And we are on our way to achieving that.
Everyone who does not want to support human exploitation and child labour, starvation wages and environmental poisoning, cannot avoid dealing with fair fashion, or even better; second-hand clothing.
Buy fair fashion – or better: second hand fashion
So fair fashion is not about disposing of the full wardrobe and refilling it with fair produced pieces. Rather, it is about getting a feeling for consumption, buying less, and if you’re buying, then buying second hand or, if it should be new – then only a fair and sustainable product.
That’s fair fashion.
A lot still has to be done, but together we can make a difference. So that such a disaster doesn’t happen again and again and so that other people, somewhere far away from us, no longer have to suffer for our luxury.
Because it should be quite normal for everyone to be able to live off their work and not just survive, right?