Greetings fellow Earthlings!
You may well know that this past weekend was Earth Day. Being responsible stewards of this floating wonder we live on takes form in many ways.
Supporting slow fashion is one aspect of this stewardship. Slow fashion is what is known as ethical or “eco” fashion: fashion aimed at building sustainable practices and maintaining fair treatment of workers.
What you may not be aware of is that this week is known as Fashion Revolution week. The Fashion Rev began five years ago in the United Kingdom to mark the tragic collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh. This preventable event stole the lives of 1,138 garment factory workers and injured an additional 2,500 people.
Of those killed, many were young women who manufactured clothes for the Western clothing designers.
Experienced UK fashion designers Carry Somers and Orsola de Castro started the revolution and said this about the factory collapse :
“We believe that 1,138 is too many people to lose from the planet in one building, on one terrible day to not stand up and demand change.”
And demand change they have. Five years in, Fashion Revolution is a global phenomenon that not only continues to raise awareness but has shown major success in promoting cleaner, safer, more fair environments for textile workers.
Creators and consumers from all corners of the world work together to affect lasting changes in the industry. We have one such fashion firebrand in Groton, MA.
This Beautiful Dust owner Linda Coleman shared posts of handmade goods on her personal Instagram long before TBD opened on Main Street.
Today, she continues to share and promote the handmade products of TBD’s ethical designers on our Instagram. Her passionate belief that fashion is a form of art drives her to constantly elucidate the importance of slow fashion.
“Mass production detracts from the integrity and purpose of fashion,” said Linda who posited that fashion for profit is damaging to the art form, the textile workers as well as the earth.
She, along with other Fashion Revolutionaries, promote slow fashion to combat the negative effects of the fast fashion industry: that which produces what’s known as disposable fashion.
“It [buying disposable fashion] seems like it’s saving you money at the register, but in actuality it’s wasteful and prolongs the cycle of buy, throw away, buy again,” explains Linda.
To help break the cycle, TBD is participating in Fashion Revolution week. To do this, we’d like to ask you to look at your tags and demand to know the truth woven into each garment.
Companies that sell cheap clothing seem like they are doing consumers a favor but are hiding the simple facts: profit can’t be made at such low prices unless they are making careless decisions in the production process.
Ask who is making your clothing. Ask what is their daily life like? Are they making fair wages, are they working in conditions that are cramped, or have poor ventilation?
Where are the raw materials coming from? How much energy and water are being wasted in the process?
We hope these are some eye opening questions, that will lead you to seek out the truth that is so well hidden in the garment industry.
All week, we have shared photos of our featured designers on social media to celebrate their work and to shed light on the sad truth of the fast fashion industry.
Help us celebrate the 5th anniversary of Fashion Revolution week by asking “Who made my clothes” and share pictures of your clothing’s labels. Don’t forget to use the hashtag and tag @ThisBeautifulDust ! We would love to see your posts, and spread the word about slow fashion. Linda firmly believes that Awareness ——> education ——> conscious decision making.
“It’s really about making fewer but better choices when it comes to fashion,” said Linda.
Once the graphic truth of fast fashion is uncovered, it isn’t easily forgotten. Our hope is that more people will seek out the truth and make begin investing in slow fashion. That investment is not only in the “now”- in the art of the textiles they purchase. It is also an investment in the future of the slow fashion industry, of the people of the world, and of the very world itself.
Little Known Facts:
~It takes 200 gallons of water to make one pair of jeans, the equivalent of 285 showers
~An estimated 95% of discarded clothing can be recycled or upcycled
3 ways to shop non-fast fashion alternatives:
Buy slow fashion. Find handmade products by acclaimed designers right on Main Street in Groton, MA. Get a hint of what’s in the boutique on our IG @ThisBeautifulDust
“Old” is the new new: Hunt for discarded clothing and accessories from era’s gone-by.
TBD offers the occasional vintage piece. Etsy and local consignment shops are also good sources for vintage goods.
When you’re done with a garment, don’t simply throw it away. Find it a new loving owner.
It’s as simple as organizing an event with a group of co-workers or girlfriends. Get together to chat and share/swap/swish.
LOCAL Fashion Revolution EVENT:
FASH REV CLOTHING SWAP
April 28 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
333 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA United States
One of our favorite TBD designers is Michelle Maynard of Simone’s Rose. Her label is diligent in upholding ethical practices. Her zero-waste garments are designed using patterns that produce little to no waste. This is done with creativity and skill, to make use of an entire piece of fabric for a garment. Some tricks include creating shapes by using darting, a sewing technique, and strategic cutting.
“We also save all of our fabric scraps and work with local businesses to re-use them,” explained Michelle. She partners with a local Canadian business that makes handmade, recycled children’s clothing and items for the house. She also shares leftovers with a sewing school for use in teaching students to make garments, quilts or stuffies. Waste not, want not.
Michelle also purchases fair trade organic materials such as organic cotton or linen for her handmade garments.
“We do this as much as we can and to provide customers with extra fabric options, we use vintage textiles or designer ends,” said Michelle. Ends, or headstock, are the excess fabric left over from past seasons that larger brands have discarded. Simone’s Rose has saved many a yard from the garbage heap, “And choose[s] materials that incorporate fibers that are sustainable and highly renewable.”