Okay, ladies, now let's get in formation. It's easier than you think to make a difference. To round off this year's Fashion Revolution Week we've put together 10 easy steps to understanding what the problems are, what needs to be done, and how you can help.
1. Understand why Fashion Revolution Week was started
Back in 2013, the world saw an immense tragedy unfold when the Rana Plaza factory collapsed, tragically killing 1,138 people and injured many more. Fashion Revolution as a movement was started and this week marks the anniversary of this disaster, encouraging millions of people to come together to campaign for systemic change in the fashion industry. The aim? To work towards a global fashion industry that conserves and restores the environment and values people over growth and profit. It's seven years in and going strong, so let's get clued up and look ahead.
2. Get your head round the numbers
When it comes to number crunching and figuring out exactly what the facts are it's sometimes hard to feel informed. Is the fast fashion industry really that bad? Surely the numbers are inflated? It's a tricky set of stats to absorb. When you are in need of some perspective over the issues that fashion is currently facing, think big. Every year, fashion creates around 150 million garments. That's an overwhelming amount when a huge proportion of these garments aren't made fairly.
3. Do your research
Know where to find out the information. Go for the sources that are consistently updated, are from reliable sources and cut the confusing jargon. Fashion Revolution's own site has an incredible set of forever updating resources, free to download wherever you are and whatever you are looking to finding out more about. Our other go-to platform that has our stamp of approval is the brilliant Good On You App who produce articles and features to keep you up to date and find out how a brand rates in their meticulously researched system.
4. Know that your voice matters
'What I say won't make a difference' said 7.7 billion people. It's true that small acts make big changes happen and coming together en masse is by far our best bet if we want to help nurture a fairer fashion future. You can make a difference. Retailers and brands are listening, and they listen through what you buy. What you search for, what you invest in, what you share and promote. It really is as simple as what you choose to shop mattering. Feel empowered that you have the opportunity to make your voice heard, and take strength in joining communities that you feel aligned with.
5. Ask the brands and stores you love 'Who made my clothes?'
If there is one, active thing you can do it's ask the brands you love and the stores you shop in, 'Who made my clothes?', 'What did they get paid?', and keep asking. The more we ask, the more we show we care about the people behind the scenes. Your words and questions can empower those who might not have the same rights and freedom as us. It's time to give all people a voice, making it possible to speak up without fear, join together in unity without repression and negotiate for better conditions at work and fairer pay.
6. Make choices you feel comfortable with
We say this all the time at Treen but it really is about starting with what works for you. We know that everyone has different needs, priorities, options and values - that's what we love about building a community of people to share our brands with. You don't have to tick every box right away. Feeling overwhelmed? Have a think about one issue that resonates with you the most and start small to start somewhere. Invest in an ethical brand. Shop second hand. Find an ethical influencer who speaks to you. Don't throw out that jumper with a hole, try and fix or find someone that could help you do that. Swap clothes with friends. But go easy on yourself and make sure to reward yourself and others for doing good - we're fully inclusive here.
7. Write to your policy maker
8. Share what you know with others
Tell a friend, pass it on. Spark up a conversation over dinner with your family or call a friend. Remain open, share your thoughts and questions and listening to what others know or have found out on their journey can be super inspiring. Join a community on social media, comment, share on stories and tag the campaign #fashionrevolutionweek. Let's harness arguably our biggest asset here - our voice.
9. Remain open minded and adaptable
If there's one thing we know, it's that we're all different and that's okay! Not everyone will, or should, think the same way as you so don't worry if you feel alone in your values. It's okay to be challenged and keep open for learning. Keeping an open mind remaining adaptable will allow you to collect all the information and the best decision for you.
10. Stay positive!
If you are feeling overwhelmed or struggling to absorb any more media right now, we get you. Now more than ever we are being bombarded with news so we understand this could be a tricky time. But there's no rush, no pressure. Take a step back, sleep on it, or even make a note in your diary to have another look over this list in a few weeks or months time when things feel easier. Stay positive! You are already doing so much by reading this list. We got this.
We're in this together! Unsure about something, have a burning question or want to know what else the team does to support at Fashion Revolution? Get in touch. We are always at the other end of an email or DM.