We all like to dress fashionable. We all follow the newest trends. But our style choices are responsible for forces labor and child labor. Because of fast fashion cheap labor and children labor is used, global climate and human rights are affected.
Do you know how your backpack is made? Or who made it? On the workshop of fast fashion I learned that people are chasing for new trends and even do not know about consequences that makes.
I am a student from Ukraine and I have never heard before about term "fast fashion". When I saw the workshop "Strings of shopping frenzy and fast fashion" by Jessica Valdez I immediately decided to participate in it to figure out what fast fashion is.
Wikipedia says that fast fashion is a contemporary term used by fashion retailers for designs that move from catwalk quickly to capture current fashion trends, like a new collection of Zara or a new Apple phone. You would ask what is wrong with changing trends. I also didn't know until I have visited this amazing workshop.
Fast trends are problematic – here is why
First of all, fabric, zippers, bags, and cloths can be made by children and we are even not aware of that when we buy stuff. Workshop participant Nurselin says, "It is difficult to find things where you can make sure kids didn't make them." In general if clothes are too cheap in a store that means it was produced under bad conditions by children.
Secondly, a lot of workers who transport or make fabric are exploited. For example, you can buy a T-shirt for 30$, but a driver who brought it earns only 20 cents per day from this job. Mostly, people from the Global South are considered a cheap labor. This poor behaviour towards them violates their human rights.
The third issue is that a lot of water is used to make new clothes, the production, shipping etc leads to greenhouse-emissions. All this increases climate change.
Fashion may not be essential to me – still I can make a difference
The best part of the workshop for me was meditation and drawing our body map. We tried to figure out where in our body we place our family, community, friends, school, travelling and fashion. A lot of people understood that fashion was not on the first place for them. However, they still spent a lot of money to stay fashionable. So does staying up-to-date worth climate change and children labour? Do not worry if you know a little about fast fashion, just spread information and make others aware of it. Jessica said, " We are in power. We can change the world." And we will.
The workshop really inspired me.Just looking at what you’re buying, not buying cloth too often or buying it from second hand can stop fast fashion, reduce your slavery footprint and even slow climate change. We can pay for products made by honest labor where workers have at least minimal wage. To know if the product is made by honest labour you should to do a small research on your own. In such ways you will not take away someone`s childhood. Stoping fast fashion you will not have any slaves working for you.
Lisa said, "It takes courage to change our lifestyle."
So, lets not compete who will wear a new trend every month, but who will stop fast fashion.