Fast fashion, faster faux pas
I briefly remember reading about the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh in 2013 and the stir it created in the world of fashion. Of course at that time, I was more interested in scrolling through street style blogs and shopping the latest trends.
Over 1,100 people died due to poor construction, lack of oversight and mostly to ensure an uninterrupted supply to the growing global desire for more cheap fashion. Today, after four years, things haven’t changed much: Workers are overextended and underpaid. Many of the large chains patronise factories that employ children - and let’s not even get started on the depletion of natural resources. The fashion industry is the second most polluting industry (after the oil industry) and it is the constant need to shop and the ‘I have nothing to wear’ syndrome that capitalises on this. We are all guilty of this and we are all complicit – I will be the first to admit it.
Although I understand one can’t permanently go without shopping from high-street brands, here are a few things I aim to practice to do my bit for society:
Go to the tailor
Instead of buying that dress from your favourite high-street brand go to your neighbourhood tailor. Custom-make a dress that fits you perfectly. Of course it’s a little more tedious and less “instant gratification” than going to the mall and buying a readymade dress. But remember, fast fashion promotes worker exploitation and child labour. Your local designers also tend to promote an ethical working environment, so shop local. This may take a few more steps to acquire that dress, but it’s for a better cause.