I hope everyone is staying positive during these uncertain times. The recent virus threat spreading around the world has gotten a lot of people panicked. News stations are broadcasting the after effects of stores being cleared out as individuals bulk buy items for fear they’ll soon be left without. Everything from groceries and electricals to entertainment items and fast fashion. It’s times like these that really make you reflect on what’s important – loved ones, clean water, a roof over our heads.
As the world goes into mass panic, it’s important we use this time to stay calm and get creative with what we do have, rather than purchasing unnecessarily. In saying this, I wanted to take a moment to focus on fast fashion and its impact.
Did you know that with the current virus outbreak, leading brands have cancelled orders for over $2 billion USD worth of clothes, that have already been produced, leaving millions of workers in countries like Bangladesh unpaid and at risk of starvation? And at the end of the day, do you really know what sacrifices have been made to produce your latest outfit?
A great documentary to watch if you haven’t seen it already, is Fashion’s Dirty Secrets by Stacey Dooley. Originally airing in 2018, it couldn’t be more relevant today. What an incredible eye opener it is! Prior to watching the documentary, I used to love telling my girls about the great bargain I scored, both online and in store. However after watching it, I couldn’t have been more horrified, and it has completely changed the way I shop.
“What we pay for an item of clothing is never the true cost. The real cost is the millions of gallons of water that was used to produce the fabric. Or the millions of gallons of water that was polluted with toxic chemicals to dye the clothes. It’s costing people their livelihoods, it’s costing people their health and it’s costing us the earth.” – Stacey Dooley.
To say I was left shocked, heartbroken and angry after finding out the reality of what fast fashion is doing to our planet and the health of those living near the production factories, is an understatement. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
We as consumers can help to change this industry for the better. We can take a stand and actively chose not be part of the harm. I myself have taken to repurposing the clothes I do have. With the help of hemming tape and an iron (because I’m not a sewer) I have already transformed a few dresses into some really cute tops. I also no longer buy for the sake of buying, instead I buy for the sole purpose of needing. When I do, my go to places are now second hand retailers, such as Depop and charity shops. It might not seem like much but if we all do our part, it can make a huge difference. Not to mention the savings I’ve already seen in my bank account!
Knowledge is power, and with knowledge a real change can be made to fight for the rights of people and the environment. Stacey’s documentary is eye opening and a must watch in my opinion. Fast fashion is simply catering to the demands of society. Feeding the ego of ‘must have now’ or fear missing out. Without the demand, companies will be forced to make a change. My hopes, for the better.
Love and kindness, Nerissa x