Either I’m totally crazy or it makes perfect sense.. You Decide…
Except if you decide that I’m crazy your wrong… 😂😂
Maybe a little dramatic but hear me out once again.
I’ll start by explaining that my decision to give up all fast fashion is not an easy one. When I walk through shopping malls I’m still that girl with her nose pressed to the window lusting after all the pretty things.
Ever see the movie ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic?’ Where Isla Fisher’s character walks past a shop and the manikins start talking to her, whispering in her ear why she needs this beautiful scarf. They dance and twirl and make everything look it’s best self.
Well I’m Isla Fisher.
The manikins and the bright lights appeal to me just as they ever did. The feeling of walking home with all the crisp new carrier bags filled with pretty things. That high will never get old.
But that’s the thing. It’s just a high.
Tomorrow that new top won’t look so pretty. And it certainly won’t once it’s been wash a few times, because it cost 3 quid and it’s was only made to last one season and then be disposed of.
I had a conversation with my Mum the other day about a lovely new deli she and my Dad have started to frequent. They sell lush bread but it’s cost £3.50 a loaf. “That’s pretty expensive” I said. “But,” she replied, “they get it from a bakery in Hove, so when you add up of the cost of someone making the bread there, transporting it to Eastbourne, the cost of the premises etc etc, they have to cover their cost so that’s the cost we have to pay if we want lovely bread”.
And so if we apply this theory to our clothes. How is it possible to buy a t-shirt for £1.50. 60% percent cheaper than that fore mentioned elusive loaf. How?
Of course she’s right. Even I, who shouts from the roof tops for fair pay and how we should pay if we have the privilege to do so. I’m also someone that works in the catering industry and knows the cost of these things, yet STILL sometimes forgets when faced with a 80 pence loaf sliced and ready for me and a £3.50 loaf, not sliced even if it does tastes like heaven.
Ok sure, huge companies can cut costs when things are made in mass production. But that’s not enough to make it cheaper than a bottle of water, right?
A former sales advisor for H&M stated that the company outsourced the production of its garments to countries “where labour laws aren’t as strict or well developed” meaning many garment workers are under paid and work in unsafe conditions.
Heard of Rana Plaza? A huge eight story commercial building that contained shops, banks and a garment factory. When cracks appeared in the building the shops, banks and other commercial businesses shut, deeming it unsafe. The factory workers however, working to tight deadlines in order to supply shops such as the ones on our high street were ordered back in to work. The building collapsed the next day during the morning rush hour. 1,134 garment worker lost their lives, 2,500 were injured.
Although this was a huge disaster back in 2013, one that should never have happened, the treatment of garment works is yet to change much.
A 2010 report by Talking Liberties discovered that garment works (80% of whom are women) often work 16 hour days and were expected to produce 10 items an hour.
Things haven’t got much better in the near decade since this report although their are many campaigns trying, taking steps forward and back again as profit margins are pushed further. It’s these pressures from the top supply chains that filter down to the (mainly) women on the ground, who become vulnerable to long hours, poor wages and violence in the work place when they do not meet their high demands.
“Global brands are quick to use female empowerment when marketing their products. But when they exert relentless pressure to get more products for less money, it’s women workers who pay the price.”
If you’ve read my post on Fast Fashion before you’ll know of high carbon footprint of the industry too.
So I’ve decided that I can no longer support the exploitation of workers from poor communities. I have the power and the privilege to buy better, buy second hand and make every purchase count. And there for someone else less privileged than me does not need to suffer. The more of us that make this decision, it will not only take steps in helping the environment but also the lives of others.
And that is why I’m boycotting the high street. As much as I’m desperate for some new Primark vests I will have to look else where.