On April 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh collapsed, killing more than 1,130 people. These people were mostly garment workers — underpaid labourers making fast fashion clothes.
In the wake of this tragedy, an organization called Fashion Revolution was born to educate consumers about the cost of cheap chic and the garment industry in general.
Fashion Revolution is about improving the lives of garment workers but also the world in general. When clothing becomes disposable, it also ends up in landfills. When you are producing billions of of clothes a year, you are also using up water to clean them and chemicals like dyes to produce them.
I am the biggest hypocrite in the world when I get up on my high horse to talk about these issues because I am always acquiring new things. And I make most of my living from the luxury world. But I am trying to make my footprint less onerous every day.
The obvious place to start would be to buy less. And one way to stretch out one’s wardrobe is to repair and upcycle things that you already have. I’m already a darner of socks and sweaters and an embellish of boots and sweatshirts (as these photos illustrate), but what if I were to recreate all the things I want using materials I already have on hand?
I’m thinking of doing this as an art project. But nothing but create lots. Not too much, though, because I’m sure landfills are also full of art.