The fashion industry is just that. It’s a business. But when it’s costing actual lives (many of the dead were young women) just to make a profit, things need to change. Out of the wreckage, one ray of hope emerged. Fashion Revolution. Founded by people who loved fashion but knew the system was broken, FR work to ensure our clothes are made in a safe, clean and fair way in an industry that values people, the environment, creativity and profit equally.
1138 people died. 2500 were injured. Six years ago the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh (which supplied several UK high street stores) collapsed. The tragedy threw a much needed spotlight onto the greed and exploitation involved in the fast fashion system. When cracks started to appear in the 8 storey building, 4 storeys of which were constructed without planning permission, employees were told they’d be docked one month’s pay if they didn’t show up for work.
This is Fashion Revolution week (timed to honour the anniversary of Rana Plaza’s collapse) and activists have been all over Instagram asking #whomademyclothes to highlight the conditions some workers still toil under.
This month uncomfortable stats were also released showing that the average item in the UK is worn for only 14 times before we get bored of it. So we’re buying cheap clothes that put lives – and the planet – in danger and then barely wearing them. According to Vivienne Westwood we should “Buy less, choose well and make it last” and in France garments are worn for at least 30 times. Ever since Livia Firth suggested we should ask ourselves, “Will I wear this a minimum of 30 times” before each purchase, the #30Wears challenge has been gaining traction.
GLAMOUR loves fashion. We adore new trends and those hits of freshness that update your wardrobe and make all your outfits shine. Shopping is our hobby, therapy and happy place. But just because 1000s of items are New In! every.single.day it doesn’t mean you have to buy them. And when you do make a new purchase – because we’re never going to stop shopping – ask yourself if it will meet the 30 wears criteria. And then wear it.
Because we love fashion, and wanted to stand for a slower rate of consumption, we’ve all pledged to wear one item 30 times over the next three months. Everyone has a different reason for joining the campaign but we’ll all be taking it seriously.
Check back in here to see how we get on, and keep an eye on our monthly updates on Instagram. At the very least we’ll be pulling out all the styling tricks we know to get the most mileage from our outfits.
We’d love you to join in too and post your own pictures using the hashtag #GLAMOUR30wearschallenge.
Charlie Teather / Fashion Editor
Chosen piece: A powder blue boilersuit