Sustainable, not ethical, has become the hottest buzzword in mainstream fashion conversation. For years we’ve been aware of the human cost of fashion, and it became front page news in 2013 when the Rana Plaza building, where garment workers made clothes for some of the world’s leading fast fashion retailers, collapsed in Bangladesh, killing 1,134 people.
And yet, conversations focus on the environment, separating the human impact. Even though we’d never have the environmental impact if brands couldn’t produce as much so cheaply by relying on slave labour and poor working conditions.
So while fast fashion brand are committing to using sustainable materials, they’re derailing us from the bigger issues and distracting us from the enabler of that environmental pollution: the slave labour that allows them to make millions of garments for cheap.
It took me several years to address my shopping habits in a constructive way, and I’m excited to share with you that I’m now approaching my one year anniversary of not shopping with fast fashion brands. This is a huge achievement for me.
Dress: Markus Lupfer sample item via 2018 sample sale
Shoes: charity shop 2019
Necklace: local South African craftsman, 2009
Bracelets: Pakistan designer made by refugees 2019