This past November, Aftenposten, the largest newspaper in Norway, produced a five-part online reality series in which three 17-year-old fashion bloggers were sent to Cambodia to live and work as textile workers in sweatshops for a month.
It’s a really interesting series, and there are English subtitles, so you can watch it here if you like.
When the bloggers first arrive, as shocked as they are by the conditions in which these people work and live, they sort of numb themselves to it by assuming the people here are just inured to it and it doesn’t bother them. In the first episode, when asked to describe the lives of the sweatshop workers, blogger Anniken Jørgensen describes it as “just OK — they have jobs!” Keep reading »
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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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 »
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 »
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 »
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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