In 2012, I counted all of the items in my closet. 234.
And then I counted the number of items I had purchased in the past year. 64.
Turns out, I was spot on with the average American in purchasing 64 items of new clothing in a year.
At the time of this experiment, I was a senior in college. I wasn’t abundantly wealthy – but I was thrifty. Probably half of these purchases came from a thrift shop or ebay, and the other half came from stellar black friday sales (RIP The Limited) or clearance racks.
As a consumer (and as a college student) my attitude when purchasing clothing was to “get the most bang for my buck.” And what that translated to was “GIMME AS MANY CLOTHES WITH THIS $20 BILL AS I CAN GET.”
2012 was the year I began to learn more about the phenomena of fast fashion and the direct impact that my behavior had on the entire system.
2013 was the year that Rana Plaza, a factory building in Bangledesh housing mainly female garment workers, collapsed. Lives were lost. 1,129.
The Rana Plaza collapse brought a spotlight to the realities of creating mass amounts of really cheap fashion. People were mad. People started asking questions. People came to realize that shopping at Forever 21 and Primark drove factories to push their workers into unsafe situations in order to fulfill fast-paced orders.
A Fashion Revolution begun.
April 24th-30th is Fashion Revolution Week. It’s a time to be curious and ask – “Where did my clothes come from?”
Now when I shop I check the labels and ask a series of questions in my head: What is this garment made of? Where did it come from? Who made my clothes?
If you want to learn more…
(images from fashionrevolution.org)