Tag Archives: fast fashion

Desperate Pleas For Help From Factory Workers Are Turning Up In Shoppers’ Clothes

Desperate Pleas For Help From Factory Workers Are Turning Up In Shoppers' Clothes
Fast Fashion Addiction
Compassionate Fashion: 5 Ways To Curb Your Fast Fashion Addiction
5 ways to break your Forever 21 habit! Read More »

A desperate note from a factory worker has been found in a pair of pants from discount retailer Primark, making even more of a case for steering clear of our fast fashion addictions whenever possible. Karen Wisínska bought the pants in a Belfast Primark in 2011 and hadn’t worn them until recently. When she discovered the note, she reached out to Amnesty International to get involved.

The note, that has “SOS! SOS! SOS!” written across the top, translates to:

We are prisoners in the Xiang Nan Prison of the Hubei Province in China. Our job inside the prison is to produce fashion clothes for export.

We work 15 hours per day and the food we eat wouldn’t even be given to dogs or pigs. We work as hard as oxen in the field.

We call on the international community to condemn the Chinese government for the violation of our human rights!

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Do You Know Who Made Your Clothes? Take An #InsideOut Picture For Fashion Revolution Day!

Becoming a better consumer
Compassionate Fashion: How A Shopaholic Fashion Writer Is Learning To Be A More Conscious Consumer
How a shopaholic is learning to be a better consumer. Read More »
Fast Fashion Addiction
Compassionate Fashion: 5 Ways To Curb Your Fast Fashion Addiction
5 ways to break your Forever 21 habit! Read More »

Today is the one year anniversary of the tragic collapse of Rana Plaza, a garment factory in Savar, Bangladesh. Over 1,100 workers died in the collapse, and more than 2,500 were severely injured, making it the deadliest garment factory “accident” in history. I’m putting “accident” in quotes because the fact is this tragedy was completely preventable. The building, which was never zoned for factory use, was crammed with heavy machinery and crowded with workers, frantically trying to keep up with the impossibly rushed production cycle of fast fashion retailers in America and Europe. If we don’t want to see a repeat of Rana Plaza, something needs to change.

To mark this somber anniversary and kick off a call for change in the fashion industry, today has been branded Fashion Revolution Day. This year’s FRD theme is transparency. Here’s an excerpt from the official website: Keep reading »

Bravo! Zady Calls Out Fast Fashion Companies With A Full-Page Ad In The Wall Street Journal

Fast Fashion Addiction
Compassionate Fashion: 5 Ways To Curb Your Fast Fashion Addiction
5 ways to break your Forever 21 habit! Read More »

Yesterday, ethical fashion collective Zady issued a battle cry against fast fashion companies like Forever 21, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Zara, and Topshop in the form of a full-page, no-punches-pulled ad in The Wall Street Journal. “Fast fashion is fast food,” the ad declares, listing some of the horrific side effects of our culture’s fast fashion addiction: exploited workers (mostly women), toxic pollution, and landfills overflowing with cheap, disposable clothing. It’s time to change our shopping habits. It’s time to value quality over quantity. It’s time to demand sustainable practices, fair wages, and safe work environments from the companies we support with our dollars. As Zady’s website puts it, “We should not be compelled to accept throwaway goods as a way of life.” Forgive me for being less than eloquent, but FUCK YES. Keep reading »

Adam Levine’s Kmart Fashion Line Includes An “Africa” T-Shirt, Jorts With Suspenders & (Sadly) No Baja Hoodies

Adam Levine's Kmart Fashion Line Includes An "Africa" T-Shirt, Jorts With Suspenders & (Sadly) No Baja Hoodies

Well, color me shocked and disappointed. Adam Levine has launched a women’s and men’s fashion line with Kmart and it is full of Coachella- and wallet-friendly items you can basically already purchase from stores like Forever 21 and the Mossimo section at Target. Well, except for that white model’s Africa shirt. That is an Adam Levine signature piece, I assume. Anyway, the relative banal-ness of a fashion line created by Adam Levine is hardly shocking or disappointing. What IS shocking and disappointing, specifically to me, is that Adam did not design an affordably priced, poorly manufactured Baja hoodie for either men or women. Keep reading »

Compassionate Fashion: 5 Ways To Curb Your Fast Fashion Addiction

Compassionate Fashion: 5 Ways To Curb Your Fast Fashion Addiction

It’s been about 6 months since I vowed to overhaul my shopping habits and become a more conscious consumer.  One of my main goals was to cut back on fast fashion, AKA super cheap, trendy clothes from stores like Forever 21, Zara, H&M, and Topshop that refresh their inventory almost daily and rely heavily on sweat shop labor. Honestly, I didn’t realize how addicted I was to fast fashion until I tried to break my habit. It’s been a bumpy road (and I still haven’t phased it out completely), but the rewards are worth it: my closet is less crowded, my clothes are better quality, and I feel better about where my money’s going. If you’ve been thinking of cutting down on your fast fashion consumption (woohoo! you go girl!), here are 5 tips I learned the hard way:

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J.Crew Hints At Lower Prices, Follows Up With “LOL JK”

Becoming a better consumer
Compassionate Fashion: How A Shopaholic Fashion Writer Is Learning To Be A More Conscious Consumer
How a shopaholic is learning to be a better consumer. Read More »
Ways We Fail At Shopping
Illustrated by GIFs! Read More »
Why Designer Clothes Cost So Much
jimmy choo shoes
Here's the secret behind those huge price tags. Read More »

Do you guys remember when J.Crew was, well, not exactly affordable, but, like, normal people could shop there? I spend a ridiculous amount of time reminiscing about the days when I could save up a few extra bucks from my freshman work study job and pop into J.Crew for a nicely made cardigan. Sigh. But wait! Is a more accessible J.Crew poised to make a comeback? Based on a statement from CEO Mickey Drexler, it seemed possible: “For spring, you’ll see our prices much more friendly this year,” he said during a speech at Parsons this week. Exciting, right?

Unfortunately, a J.Crew spokesperson swooped in to release the following party-pooping statement right after Drexler’s words hit the internet: Keep reading »

H&M Is Giving Textile Workers A Raise

H&M Is Giving Textile Workers A Raise

H&M may be raising its prices, but for a reason you’ll actually love. The company is aiming to create better conditions in the factories in which their clothes are made. H&M announced its Fair Living Wage policy last month, saying that “all textile workers should be able to live on their wage.” What a breath of fresh air! Its goal is to give raises to over 850,000 of its workers by 2018. Helena Helmersson, the company’s head of sustainability, said that higher prices “might be a possibility,” though so far there has been no official decision to increase prices. Even if it does, it’s hard to imagine H&M ever becoming so expensive that it loses is standing as one of the most affordable places to shop. A few extra dollars added to the price of my sweater is certainly worth improving a textile worker’s standard of living. Keep reading »

Forever 21 Cuts Full Time Employees To Avoid Paying Health Care Costs

Forever 21 & Sweatshops
Forever 21 is in hot water over using sweatshops. Read More »
Bangladesh Accord
topshop will not sign bangladesh accord
TopShop won't sign, Forever 21 on "guilt-free" shopping. Read More »
WTForever 21
A place for the hideous crap found on Forever21.com. Read More »
Let's Talk Fast Fashion
What's wrong with brands like Forever 21, anyway? Read More »
forever 21 letter

Forever 21, you just keep getting better and better. In between lowering your prices to make them more “guilt-free” (with little thought, of course, to the workers who actually make the products), and getting in trouble for sweatshop-like labor conditions, you’ve now gone and fucked over the people who work in your stores. Earlier this week, Forevs sent out a memo noting that any and all “non-management” full-time employees would be reclassified as part-time, effective almost immediately.

“Forever 21,” reads the memo from human resources associate director Carla Macias, “recently audited its staffing levels, staffing needs and payroll in conjunction with reviewing its overall operating budget. As a result, we are reducing a number of full-time non-management positions.” All employees who received the memo will be reduced to a schedule to not exceed 29.5 hours per week. Why is that the magic number? Because under President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, mid- and large-sized employers are required to pay for health insurance for employees who work 30 hours or more. Forever 21 thinks it can get around this simply by reducing its technically-full time staff to part-time positions.

And they’re right. Keep reading »

Today In Crappy Retailers: TopShop Still Won’t Sign The Bangladesh Safety Accord

Compassionate Fashion
Dresses from sustainable designer Karen Kane. Read More »
Bangladeshi Woman Alive
Amid the Rana Plaza factory collapse, a woman is found alive. Read More »
Let's Talk Fast Fashion
What's wrong with brands like Forever 21, anyway? Read More »
topshop will not sign bangladesh accord

Back in April, hundreds of workers died after a building collapse at the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh. In the wake of this tragedy, the Bangladesh Safety Accord was created, with the aim of ensuring safety for clothing manufacturer employers. It’s overseen by the United Nation’s International Labor Organization, and signees to the accord agree to regular factory inspections and improved safety measures and standards at factories that produce their garments.

But guess who’s not down to protect the lives of their factory workers? TopShop, that’s who. Since April, more than 80 companies have signed the accord, including H&M, Mango and even Abercrombie & Fitch. (You can check out the full list here.) TopShop agreed to sign in May, but has yet to actually take pen to paper — even after they were urged by the British government to do so in June. Keep reading »

Frisky Q&A: Author Elizabeth Cline Talks Rana Plaza, Sustainable Style & Our Addiction To Fast Fashion

Ethical Clothing?
Clothing Rack
Would you be more likely to buy clothes with an "ethical" label? Read More »
Compassionate Fashion
Dresses from sustainable designer Karen Kane. Read More »
Let's Talk Fast Fashion
What's wrong with brands like Forever 21, anyway? Read More »
Elizabeth Cline author of Overdressed

In the weeks since the horrific collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory — and subsequent deaths of more than a thousand factory workers — we’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to be a conscientious consumer. As Americans, we’re privy to more and cheaper goods than ever before — and as globalization spreads and the means of production move further and further away, we’re less and less connected to what we buy.

It’s pretty clear that something’s got to give.

Enter Elizabeth Cline. In her new book, Overdressed (not out until the end of August already out, with the hardcover to be released in August), she delves into the rise of cheap, fast fashion, and — by traveling to China and Bangladesh — documents first-hand how our desire for more and newer clothing is impacting the environment, the culture and workers’ lives.

As style editors and fashion lovers, both Winona and I have grappled with wanting to give you, our readers, affordable, accessible options, while also honoring our desire to support fair worker practices and ethical businesses. In the coming weeks and months, we hope to bring you a lot more coverage on conscious, sustainable fashion, alongside some of our affordable shopping guides. There is no such thing as a “perfect” consumer, but we believe in giving you as much information as possible so you can make the decision that’s right for you.

After the jump, I talk to Elizabeth Cline about how we can be better educated and more conscious clothing consumers.

Keep reading »

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