The good news is that we can create change. And mindsets are already changing! According to the market research firm McKinsey and Business of Fashion, sustainability is already becoming an important new driver of purchasing behavior. Approximately 32% of consumers in developed countries and 65% in developing countries actively seek out sustainable fashion.
Demanding transparency is the first step in creating this change. This week, ask yourself, “Who made my clothes?” And more importantly, ask the brands and retailers you buy from, “Who made my clothes?” Some will probably ignore you or direct you to their corporate social responsibility page. It’s not good enough. Keep asking until they respond, the more people who ask, the more the impetus will be on those brands to answer. Tag your favorite brands on social media and ask them #whomademyclothes. More transparency leads to greater accountability, which will eventually lead to a change in the way business is done in the fashion industry.
So how can asking a brand who made my clothes on social media make a real change? Last year over 2 million people around the world participated in the Fashion Revolution social media campaign and attended events in their local cities. And there was over an 80% growth from 2017 to 2018 in the use of the #imadeyourclothes hashtag, meaning more brands and manufacturers are responding as well. There was a 250% increase as well in people asking brands. It looks like the industry is starting to listen. Revolutions don’t happen overnight, but with more people making their voices heard, it’s no doubt that changes are happening. Small changes can make a big difference, and while purchasing a piece of clothing may seem like a small action, consider it from the supply perspective. You’ve helped that seller, the manufacturer, and the workers in each layer of the supply chain. You’re enriching the lives of those who you choose to buy from, so it’s important to choose wisely.
If you want to find out more ways you can participate in the revolution, head to https://www.fashionrevolution.org/about/get-involved/