On April 24, 2013 the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,134 people and injuring another 2,500. It was then that I came to the realization of the horrors of the garment industry. I had read Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline and so knew a little about the industry. This book really opened my eyes, but it never went much farther until the factory collapse hit the news. It was horrifying to hear how many people had been hurt. Their deaths were definitely preventable, but no one had prevented it. It was then that I started to look deeper into the garment industry and fast fashion. It’s only in recent years that awareness seems to finally be reaching the light. In the last 15 years there have been 250,000 cotton- farmer suicides in India because they can’t make ends meet. Nothing will change until we, the consumers, demand change. It’s the workers who pay the price for our ignorance, not the big brands or factory owners. It’s when we look down at the shirt we are wearing and wonder who made it that change begins. Now is the time to act and use the voice we have been given. What we wear says a lot about who we are and what we stand for. What are you standing for?
This year I am participating in Fashion Revolution in memory of the Rana Plaza factory collapse. I am asking clothing brands to become more transparent in their methods. I am asking #whomademyclothes? Will you join me?
Want to learn more? Here are a few links to help you get started.