Bargains galore: New t-shirt $11. Jeans $29. Socks 3 pairs for $2.50 (seriously, that’s an actual price for 3 pairs of socks).

This is a problem.

Someone in the supply chain pays the price for these bargains; often their work conditions are poor and they’re not paid fairly for their work. And we’re mostly speaking about women – over 80% of garment factory workers. The costs to the planet can be just as insidious.

But you know this. That’s why you’re here, reading this article. What you really want to know, is what can I do about it?

The Revolution

A global fashion movement is building, to turn the industry on its head. Fashion Revolution was born on the day of the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh. Rana Plaza was the fourth largest industrial disaster in history, 1,138 people died and another 2,500 were injured in a dangerously dilapidated building of garment industry workers.

How can you get involved?

There’s a growing number of ethical fashion houses. Many of them will showcase their designs for Fashion Revolution Week this year from 23-29 April.

If you’re in Melbourne, RMIT Sustainability and The Conscious Closet are collaborating for a $5 pop-up shop, clothing swap and guest speakers on 26 April, in the heart of the CBD. You can find details here.

The Possibility Project Mending and Meaning

And for Sydney-siders The Possibility Project are running a fab event on 24 April called “Mending and Meaning. Fashioning a Revolution.” The event is centered on the idea of “…the love affair we should have with our clothes, part practical, part purposeful and wholly peaceful”

What next?

Lasting change isn’t going to happen simply as a result of a week-long campaign and an almighty hashtag, but it’s a great way to start the conversation. Use what you learn, share ideas, buy second-hand clothes, and keep putting pressure on brands with your shopping choices.

“The revolution is not an apple that falls from the tree when it’s ripe. You have to make it fall”
– Che Guevara

This article first appeared in our monthly newsletter The Gazette. Sign up here and never again miss your monthly dose of good stuff.

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