Blue Cow Wonders 

The blog that asks why and how to all things within the world of fashion & sustainability.

As Fashion Revolution Week 2020 comes to a close, we're reminded of its importance. Sustainability and ethical fashion practices have been ingrained into our brains.

And rightly so ✌


If you didn't already know, Fashion Revolution Week takes place every year to raise awareness of both sustainable and ethical issues the fashion industy faces today. First launched in memory of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Dhaka District, Bangladesh on 24 April 2013, which killed more than 1,100 people and injured another 2,500, making it one of largest industrial disaster in history.

The annual campaign promotes global events and conversations which aims to raise awareness and improve the conditions so many garment workers still face today.


Fashion Revolution started the campaign with #whomademyclothes. Urging consumers to pressure brands into transparency.


Now seven years on from the preventable tragedy, there has been a lot of positive change. Whilst vast numbers of us have recently become aware of the issues and are adapting our lifestyles, many still live in the dark, oblivious to the fact their clothes may be contributing to the climate crisis and human exploitation.


Fashion revolution week was started in 2013 because of the blood was shed. And now as we all face these uncertain times, its time to critically re-evaluate our past and consider what we want in a post-COVID19 society. @fash_rev is calling for a "fashion reformation to activate the systemic change and make this decade count."


We have all connected by this global pandemic, but here in Britain, the majority of us are lucky enough to hide away under the safety blanket of furlough pay. However, there are some 1.2 million garment workers who have lost their jobs this past month due to retailers cancelling orders worth up to £1.2 billion due to COVID19 store closures.


Additionally, the enforced lockdowns (India's lockdown happened in 4 hrs) have left factories no choice but to close. Millions work within these factories and most don't have the facility to provide any type of social safety pay. With no pay or proper safety from the virus, it's these garment workers, many who work for dozens of best-selling fashion brands will be the worst affected by the virus.


However, there is some hope. The sustainable brand Omi Na Na is working together with their partner The Loom Art, towards an Employees Fund. This will look after artisans and other workers who have appealed for help. With the help of public donations, they are hoping to provide workers with financial support (a similar amount to their salary) so they are able to buy essentials and look after themselves in this time of hardship. Check them out at - https://ominana.com/collections/the-loom-art/products/the-loom-art-employees-fund-donation


It's safe to say we are all distracted by COVID19, but climate change is still here and still VERY real. It's time to consider what impact our clothing choices have on the planet and its people. Fashion as a system is broken. Globally we produce up to 100 billion pieces of clothing a year, which takes a terrible toll on the planet and people who make them. What’s worse, is that a new report by XR Boycott fashion predicts the apparel and footwear industry will grow by 81% by 2030, putting an unprecedented strain on already devastated worldly resources.


We must re-think, collectively, global fashion industries produce some 100bn garments using 25% of the world’s chemicals whilst contributing towards 10% of its carbon emissions, thereby adding to the global temperature rise. 1 in 6 people in the world now work in fashion, with 98% of them making less than their national living wage.

Scarily when a £20 item is retailed at 50% off for £10 (after VAT = £8), the retailer and manufacturer will each still make their cuts, leaving £1 max. For the wages split between 3 people who cut, sew and finished this garment.

Because this item was manufactured so cheaply (if disposed of incorrectly) it soon ends up in landfill or incinerators further producing toxic methane gas pollution into our air, soil and waters.


'As this pandemic confronts us with the forced-quit and re-set in priorities, values and systems, it's crucial that we don't return to business as usual.'


Join in with this Fashion Reformation, calling for Governments to educate the public, businesses and brands to re-align objectives and offerings with the common good, and significantly reduce production and waste. "Let’s keep the energy going! Fashion Revolution isn’t just a week, it’s a movement, and it takes EVERYONE to keep on holding brands accountable and giving supply chain workers a voice." Find more info at https://www.fashionrevolution.org/




Stay safe all,


XXX


Melissa

  • Melissa Fraser

Following on from my previous post, here is My Try on the #OneItemAMonth Challenge.


As a conscious consumer, the thought of only buying one item of clothing (and shoes) a month didn't sound partially challenging. However, since the beginning of the challenge only 1 month ago, I've become a lot more aware of my desire and want for general stuff.


I'm currently 2 months in, and I've already hit some difficulties.


Whilst in London for February's Fashion Week, I was really good. Full of inspiration from a talk by Tess Montgomery, I managed to walk into Topshop on Oxford street and walk out with a just headband (see the orange picture ). That was February's item and the first of the challenge.


March has proven to be a little tricker. Since the beginning of the month, I have already purchased two items and several are waiting for me in my Depop basket. That said, only 1 of the 2 items bought, are new (see the jeans). The other was a golden find in a local charity shop. A pair of second hand, white boots originally from New look, still in a great condition for a bargain of £2.


I considered letting any items purchased second-hand not count. But, even if I'm consuming loads of second-hand garments, I'm still a hoarding fast-fashion consumer. I've had to remind myself that the idea of the challenge is to reduce the amount I buy and consume.



So march has been a little blip, nobody is perfect.

I'm on a mission to continue with this challenge for the minimum of one year. But I'm hopeful that the challenge will transform my consumer habits, and become apart of my lifestyle of the foreseeable future.


Keep up to date with my #OneItemAMonth Challenge via my Instagram @melissafraser.photo.


Side note - With the rise of Covid-19, any thought of buying clothes has gone completely out the window. During these uncertain times, clothes are not particularly high on my priority list. This is great for my bank balance, but not so for any small independent shops.


Support your local community and stay safe my lovelies,


xx


Melissa


Copyright © 2020 Melissa Fraser. All rights reserved.

  • Black Facebook Icon
  • https://www.instagram.com/melissafra
  • https://www.linkedin.com/feed/?trk=u

Follow my socials for the latest.