You may have noticed a new button and link on the blog. Fashion Revolution Day is coming up on April 24th. Participants are asked to wear their clothes inside out to show the labels on instagram.
Celina who blogs over at Petit a Petit and Family and Abby who blogs over at Things for Boys is asking the sewing community to get involved. Their take on this global awareness campaign is to
get the online sewing community involved with this initiative by creating the first
Virtual FLASH MOB
of sewists wearing something handmade inside out. The goal is for all of us to stand together for a united cause and help to show sewing (in all its forms) as an ethical and sustainable alternative to fast fashion and mass consumerism. It’s one piece in a very large puzzle but by showcasing home sewn items we will help spread the word that in some cases the answer to ‘Who Made Your Clothes?’ can proudly be answered, “ME!”
April 24, 2014 will mark the first anniversary of a horrific and tragic event. One thousand one hundred twenty-nine people died when the unsafe building they were working in collapsed. Over two thousand people were injured. Many lost limbs.
The building that collapsed housed garment factories that catered to the fast-fashion appetite of western countries. Although the building also housed a bank and other shops, these business closed and left the building as soon as cracks were discovered. This was not the case for the garment factories where workers were ordered back to work in this unsafe environment in order to meet shipping deadlines.
This tragedy brought to light the horrific working conditions and little pay that the workers must endure to support their families. It shocked many in the west who were oblivious to these conditions when they picked up that bargain garment.
So, on April 24 we're asked to think about the people who have passed away, those who survived, and those that continue to work in unthinkable working conditions and ask ourselves "who made your clothes?"
I have thought of this social justice issue and how it relates to my sewing. I wrote about it back in February when Debi ask those participating in Sew Grateful Week to reflect on what sewing means to them.
The straw that broke the camel's back were the heart-wrenching reports about the sewing factories overseas. "Made in the U.S.A." or "Made in Canada" disappeared from our western landscape in the past decades as our heads were filled with the promises of globalization. I am no saint when it comes to some of my shopping decisions in the past. I have clothing produced by Joe Fresh and that have "Made in China" and "Made in Bangladesh" and yes, it makes me ill every time another garment factory fire occurs and innocent garment workers are killed. It is not cheap fashion when the high human cost comes to light.
This past year, I try to think of those who sew our clothes not because it is a hobby rather they are trying to feed their families. I am trying to be more mindful in my decisions and change my shopping behaviour of the past. I have learned to appreciate my sewing skills more than I did in the past. I now think of my sewing skills as more than a hobby. Sewing has become a form of social activism. I know how much I hate it when people take advantage of my sewing abilities and try to get work done for cheap or worse free. Yet when I buy fast-fashion am I not doing the same thing? It is one of the reasons that I joined Sarah's RTW Fast this year. I'm grateful for the community of fasters that have been supportive and inspiring in this journey.
This is an opportunity to stand up and think about where we place value, in people or products. On April 24th, would you wear your clothes inside out and snap a photo? If sew, spread the word.