What If I Am Too Poor to Care About Who Made My Clothes?

What If I Am Too Poor to Care About Who Made My Clothes?

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This page may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that I have recommended. There is no additional cost to you whatsoever.

Fashion Revolution is over for one more 12 months; a time when the worldwide vogue group comes collectively to spotlight the business’s points and discover methods to do higher. Fashion Revolution Day was based in response to the 2013 Rana Plaza garment manufacturing facility collapse within the manufacturing district of Dhaka in Bangladesh that killed no less than 1,133 folks. Since then Fashion Revolution has grown to be a worldwide community and prolonged to a full week celebrated in April. This 12 months’s vogue revolution noticed hundreds of thousands of individuals around the globe taking part in numerous occasions to lift consciousness of social and environmental points throughout vogue provide chains. Hundreds of occasions on ethics, sustainability and transparency within the vogue business are organized or endorsed by nationwide chapters of Fashion Revolution in numerous nations.

This 12 months, the Fashion Revolution observances was as soon as once more kick-started with its flagship marketing campaign: #WhoMadeMygarments? To be part of this initiative, contributors merely wore their garments inside out, posted a photograph of the ensemble on social networks with the hashtag “#WhoMadeMyClothes.” The query is designed to set off the will to grasp how clothes is made and the way they arrive at such low cost costs. This in flip, is predicted to offer a extra human-face to the style staff whereas concurrently nudging the shoppers to take care of the individuals who make their garments.

Viyella Tex garment manufacturing facility in Bangladesh. Photo: UNSGSA.

As I saved seeing the photographs and movies from this 12 months’s marketing campaign I bought more and more uncomfortable. Listen, I do know that the clothes business is one of the largest polluting in the world. Clothing corporations, in reality, are as as a lot of a menace to the surroundings as air journey and the worldwide meat business. The difficulty with such campaigns is that it locations an unfair social, monetary and ethical weight on me, the common buyer. It assumes that individuals who go for low-cost merchandise are are both not very educated in regards to the impacts of quick vogue or just don’t care. It fails to think about that, for a few of us on decrease incomes, shopping for habits can’t at all times replicate private ethics.

Put in another way, as moral vogue turns into trendier, its costs solely appear to get greater. The garments are claimed to last more however this can be a ineffective argument for many of us who can’t afford a $100 pair of pants within the first place. It’s straightforward to change to costlier, extra moral clothes manufacturers when the distinction between a £35 high (US$49.56) and a £45 (US$63.72) product doesn’t actually imply a lot to you. What occurs to these of us who regardless of our greatest efforts to be extra eco-conscious, merely can’t afford many of the fashionable moral manufacturers that exist as alternate options to quick vogue? Most working-class individuals who purchase from quick vogue manufacturers put on these garments for a lot of lengthy years anyway. Can’t that be sufficient?

Related Post: 5 Ways to Identify ‘Good’ Quality Clothing to Help You Shop More Sustainably

The staff at these quick vogue manufacturers make the garments at such low cost costs as a result of they don’t have any different. They are from a poorer demographic of our world they usually want the cash. I name out the massive manufacturers for exploiting these staff however on the finish of the day, once I purchase quick vogue, I accomplish that as a result of it’s what I can afford. If most working-class folks found out which underpaid employee in some creating area that made their garments, the sensible query right here is: being barely well-paid themselves, what can they actually do to assist? 


If it helps, have a look at this difficulty from a psychological perspective, Abraham Maslow’s pyramid of needs at all times involves thoughts. Our want for clothes is a fundamental want and thus supersedes the necessity to care and take part for world causes. Only when these decrease degree wants have been met can folks transfer on to the subsequent degree of wants, which embody security, safety, and different emotions of self-actualization.

The total premise of quick vogue is for you to have the ability to purchase garments shortly, look good  and achieve confidence whereas spending as little as attainable. However, at any time when we’ve a dialog about quick vogue we discuss developments and influencers and by no means point out the truth that the most important purpose folks nonetheless purchase quick vogue is tied to the dimensions of their pockets. We focus on financial disparity and the way many individuals throughout the globe earn under the minimal wage. Yet, we miss out on that there’s a straight line from there to purchasing low cost quick vogue. It will get worse once I take into consideration the truth that the individuals who usually ask me to ask who made my garments usually accomplish that from telephones they paid $1000 for and don’t care about who made them. I however ought to care about who made my garments as a result of I spent $20 on it.

Related Post: Eco Gentrification: Is The Green Living Movement Being Whitewashed?

We agree within the moral vogue group that properly made clothes are higher. So, why would anybody not need them? Have we thought that maybe it’s as a result of they’ll’t afford them? I believe this feeds into a bigger drawback; the problem of an influencer targeted sustainability- a type of modern-day classism. This is a straightforward entice that well-meaning folks fall into. They have to be conscious that for some folks, all they’ll afford is quick vogue and this can be a aspect impact of the cycle of poverty and low earnings in our world at this time. We have turn out to be so wrapped up in Instagram and Tik Tok sustainability that we’ve forgotten that there are different actual world causes that folks may wish to purchase quick vogue aside from following vogue developments.

Australian acutely aware model Spell‘s new assortment options Folk Song Robes retail at AUD$269.

In researching this text I got here throughout quite a lot of articles which identified that lots of people nonetheless purchased quick vogue as a result of they couldn’t afford slower vogue. They would recognise that not everyone seems to be financially able to making higher decisions and on the finish suggest that folks store in co-ops as an alternative choice to quick vogue. The drawback with this suggestion is that it fails to bear in mind one reality. The two important teams of people that store in co-ops are: 1. People who can afford higher and individuals who don’t have any selection. The former both for sentimental or environmental causes by selection, and the latter, exactly as a result of they don’t have any selection.

This leaves out the middle-class staff who’ve a selection however flip to quick vogue for being fashionable and low cost. For these individuals who I consider that make up a majority of quick vogue consumers, we want new messaging. Perhaps, we must be encouraging folks to purchase issues they actually love, regardless of how low cost, as a result of then we all know they’ll put on it loads. And when they’re completed with a chunk of clothes, we should always focus extra on the significance of clothes and textiles recycling, giving the used garment to a charity store or a garments financial institution, as a substitute of tossing it within the bin.

I share these views to not play the satan’s advocate however to point out our blind spots as a group. I’ve found that the larger the privilege, the larger the blind spots. If we don’t totally perceive the explanations behind most quick vogue purchases, how can we hope to point out extra folks the higher method?

Recommending studying:

Cover picture by Tim Douglas.

Enjoyed this submit & wish to present your gratitude? Then please help Eco Warrior Princess on Patreon!