What is Fashion Revolution?
One year ago today, over 1000 workers of the Rana Clothing Plaza Factory in Bangledash died and 2500 were injured after the building they were working in collapsed. Obviously they were working in inappropriate conditions so that you and I could get a shirt for $5!! Today we are taking a stand and saying this is not okay. We wear our handmade clothing inside out to show others that we don't need to buy mass produced products to have great clothing!
Now you might not think this matters. Bangledash is far from you. Well, let me bring it home for you. I was a High School Fashion Design teacher for several years. One day I asked my maintenance staff if they could help me with a little organizing project. They sent a wonderful man named Juan to help. As he was working to install the finished project, we got to talking. He knew I was the Fashion teacher and he wanted to share his own experience. He had worked for many years in a high end clothing manufacturing factory in California. He loved it. Had worked his way up to become a manager and was able to support his family and do something he loved. Then one day, the owners came to say they were moving the factory overseas to cut costs. He, along with all the others who had worked for this company, lost their jobs, their livelihood. It was difficult to find work in the U.S.A. and as a result, he was now a maintenance man in a high school. He was not complaining and didn't tell me the story for any other the reason then to be able to talk fashion. But once our conversation ended and he went his way I started to think. Here was a man who had worked his whole life for a company that decided money was more important then people. A company that sent it's factory overseas so they could pay people less and make them work more. For what? A profit? Popular opinion?
I love handmade clothing, bags, anything. It has become a passion of mine. My husband would agree and add perhaps call it an addiction. I have noticed over the years how many are unwilling to pay for handmade items. They say, "I could get that for $10 at _________. And you want how much????" But what they don't understand is that NO ONE can make that item for $10. Unless you realize that those making the item are not even making what we would consider minimum wage!! Let me break it down for you.....
Cost of Materials + Labor = Final Amount
Do you really think your tshirt only costs a company $10 to make? If I can get a really good deal on knit fabric, I MIGHT be able to get it for $5 a yard. For an average adult, it would take at least 2 yards to make the tshirt. Umm......so what about labor? Well....you decide.
What can we do?
We can make our own clothing!! We can consign, recycle and upcycle clothing. Don't get me wrong. I am not one to pass up a great sale, but I also know that the quality of mine and my family's closets starts with ME! I can make a difference and so can you. Think before you buy. Support your local businesses, your handmade boutiques and learn to sew yourself. Realize the cost behind everything you buy. If you do sew, show your support by turning your clothes insideout and sharing on your social media with #insideout.