Who Made My Clothes?

Today, April 24th marks the fourth anniversary of the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment building in Bangladesh, which killed 1,134 factory workers and injured a further 2,500 people.

It is also the start of Fashion Revolution Week, an ethical movement that began in the UK whose current focus is #whomademyclothes, a campaign which encourages consumers to demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain.

So, do you know who made your clothes? How was it made and where? These are the questions we should be asking ourselves.

“Once you educate yourself, you’re left with choices” ~ Yvon Chouinard

Here are three ways to get involved with Fashion Revolution Week, and shop mindfully in the process. One way is by organizing an evening where you swap clothes with your friends or go hunting for gems in a thrift / consignment store – like I did. I bought this top seven years ago from a consignment store and I bought this pants from H&M a year ago. H&M offers clothing donation services, where you drop your clothes off at stores in exchange for a voucher.

One of the most eye opening statistics to emerge on the topic of sustainable fashion is that the average piece of clothing in our wardrobes is worn just four times. Before purchasing an item of clothing ask yourself: Will I still love this in a few months? How can I mix and match this with something I already own? Do I own something similar? What is the cost per wear? Where was this made? How was it made?

Did you know almost 70% of the clothes we throw away could be prevented with better care habits? Wash your clothes with care. If all it needs is a little patching or a stitch or two, take the time to mend it instead of throwing it away. By doubling the useful life of clothing from one year to two years educes emissions over the year by 24%.

Think before you impulse buy this week lovelies. Buy less, choose well, make it last.

Nikki

Hair by Billy Disciullo

Photos by Andrew Swaine

37 thoughts on “Who Made My Clothes?

  1. Jovita Antanovich says:

    Buying vintage, going to second hand stores, that’s one step forward, even so a lot of people would say it is not for them and would never wear somebody’s clothes. It is hard to change people’s perception, however I still believe it is possible and one day we will learn how to make more sustainable choices…
    I highly recommend a documentary “True Cost” (not sure if you can only find it on Netflix)..

    Jovita from Black Vanilla
    http://www.b-vanilla.com

    • Nikki says:

      I have found a few gems in consignment stores. But I agree, its not for everyone. If people do prefer to shop new, they should invest in a garment that fits nicely, is durable, and put together well. It should definitely be worth the purchase if you like it enough and know you’ll wear it a lot.

      Yes, I watched “True Cost”. Definitely a documentary every fashion blogger should watch. Thank you for your comment Jovita. So much appreciated. Have a great weekend beautiful.

      Xx

  2. Missy May says:

    Great post here, Nikki. I definitely agree with you on every point you made. While I impulse buy sometimes, I also donate some of my old/unworn ones to my siblings back home, charities and friends. You look wonderful and classy in this black and white outfit. So sad with the Rana building. Wow what a tragedy! Rip to the souls lost.
    Happy Friday, beautiful! 🙂

    http://missymayification.blogspot.co.uk

    • Nikki says:

      Thank you Mavis. Love to hear that you donate your unused clothes. In the USA, 10.5 million tons of clothing is sent to landfills every year. If everyone did their little bit by donating or re-purposing their unused clothes it would made a big difference. Keep doing what you do beautiful. Thank you for your comment and for stopping by. Xx

  3. Jalisa says:

    I’ve been reading so much on this campaign this week and I’m so happy that there’s an awareness being made on the working conditions and suffering that many of the people who make our clothing face, as a result of that terrible tragedy. It’s definitely made more conscious this week to consider alternative options and has educated me on the not so glamorous side of the industry. Thanks for sharing, beauty, and I hope you have a great weekend ahead!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

    • Nikki says:

      Thank you for caring and taking the time to read up on this campaign Jalisa. Yes, we all love fashion but it should not be at the cost of people or the environment. Have great weekend as well beautiful. Xx

  4. Ciara says:

    This post covers so man important topics that we as style bloggers should constantly remind ourselves of. Though I’m guilty of impulse shopping and purchasing without knowing the company’s production details from time to time, I try to be aware of it as much as I can. All we can do is our best, and be as conscious of these things as we can. If we can recycle or donate clothes to charity that makes a huge difference. Thanks for sharing this and bringing it to the attention of all us bloggers 🙂

    Ciara
    http://www.ciarasalloum.com

    • Nikki says:

      I agree Ciara, recycling or donating unused clothes can make a big difference. I recently taught two elementary school classes on up-cycling and re-purposing old clothes. The kids re-purposed old t-shirts and sweaters into bags. They took so much of pride in what they created, not to mention learn and explore ways to help the environment, conserve natural resources and energy, and make the Earth a safer place to live. Thank you so much for your comment and for stopping by. Xx

    • Nikki says:

      Likewise, I have a few pieces that are almost 15 years old 🙂 I try not to get blinded by brand names. Even brands that usually have high-quality clothing can try to sell you poorly-made stuff that do not last very long. Thank you so much for stopping by.
      Xx

  5. S says:

    Going for second hand or vintage finds is one way to help…I always found going for previously loved clothes the best, especially when they are in perfect condition.
    xo
    S
    Grey Canvas

    • Nikki says:

      I agree Safinaaz. I have found some real gems at vintage stores. It’s good for the planet and for your wallet to 🙂 Thank you for stopping by. Xx

  6. Pentene says:

    Wow, when you think about it, it’s a lot of aspects you should be thinking about when shopping and buying clothing. These days people buy items that are trending and toss them out when they are no longer a trend. I like to buy clothes that are fashionable and stylish, but also shop for pieces that I can wear multiple times, for multiple occasions. I also started shopping at consignment shops too. I love it. Great post love.

    Xoxo
    http://www.stylemefancy.com

    • Nikki says:

      Yes, Pentene consignment stores seems like the way to go if one wants to enjoy fashion and slowly expand ones wardrobe without breaking the bank or contributing to fast fashion. Thank you so much stopping by Pentene. I really appreciate your comment. Xx

  7. SimplyFae says:

    I’m so glad you wrote about this, its very important for people to realize that our buying habits can directly impact peoples lives and the environment. Sadly, some big chains use third parties so they can distance themselves and say they don’t use child labor or dump toxic waste. When they get caught they say we hired a factory who couldn’t meet the order so they outsourced it, we didn’t know. Thanks for shining light on such an important topic!!

    • Nikki says:

      Thank you Fae. Yes, sadly so many big chains pass the buck or use third parties as scapegoats to avoid taking accountability for their actions. I was shocked to learn this as well and read about how many chains that I support are guilty of this. Knowledge is power, and I feel more woke and conscientious about my buying habits. Glad to read that other bloggers and fashionistas feel the same. Xx

    • Nikki says:

      Thank you Nina. Your comment is much appreciated. In the past, I will admit that I was guilty of impulse buys as well. But after becoming aware of this serious problem I am much more conscientious of my clothing purchases. I’ve come to realize that fashion is not about just filling your closet with as many goodies as you can get. It is about taking a conscious approach to fashion. Thank you for your conscious approach my dear blogger babe. Xx

  8. Rachel Holliday says:

    I think more people (myself included) need to think about where their clothes actually come from. It’s so awful that people, such as the one’s in that factory, work in those conditions. I’m all for thrift stores, markets and even doing DIY updates to pieces you already own.

    You look so lovely in this printed 2 piece

    Rachel xx
    http://www.thedailyluxe.net

    • Nikki says:

      Yes Rachel, its shocking to learn about the working conditions of the people who make our clothes. We need to know this and spread the word. Its the small acts like buying local, or buying from a thrift store that will transform the world. Thank you so much for stopping by and your contribution Xx

  9. Tina says:

    I have to admit – I am so guilty of not knowing who really made my clothes. It’s something I need to really consider. I do, however, always donate my clothes. I can’t believe people just throw them away like that. I really appreciate you writing about this very important topic!

    Tina
    http://www.justatinabit.com

    • Nikki says:

      Thank you Tina. It’s never to late to do something and by you just donating your clothes inspires change. Thank you. Xx

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