Image Courtesy of @TheSlowFactory
We attended a Fashion Week event, "Wear Your Values" which sought to inspire conscious consumerism by supporting artisan craftsmanship, ethical manufacturing and human freedom.
If you are reading this, you are probably already aware that fashion is the second largest economy in the world. It is also the second largest contributor to pollution in the world after the oil industry. Over the past 20 years, manufacturers have produced cheap, disposable fashion at alarmingly quick rates. Once consumers saw how inexpensive they could buy clothes, they came to expect low prices and things quickly spun out of control. Demand for cheap fashion that could be disposable led to human rights violations across the globe. When consumers buy fast fashion, they are unknowingly contributing to a system that harbors millions of (mostly women) in poverty and oppression, without knowing it.
Wear Your Values created an interactive event to show conscious consumers where the system is failing. We were able to see the life cycle of a garment, from sourcing raw materials to manufacturing, to branding to end of life. We met fashion labels and organizations who promote freedom, conscious consumption, transparency, women's rights and social justice. We met others who were interested in these topics at the event too. Connecting with other consumers who are interesting in changing the way we shop, buy and manufacture is critical to actually make a change.
And here were the participants:
Thread International - Creating Sustainable Textiles from recycled plastic in locations in the
Azru - Afghan women artisan rugs
Indego Africa - Making African artisans into entrepreneurs
Parson's School of Design - Teaching designers, artists, + scholars to design responsibly
Slow Factory - Apparel, made in the US, that sees themselves as a tech lab promoting human rights
There is No Limit Foundation - Textiles Creation by West African Women
Fashion For Freedom - A socially responsible, ethical and transparent supply-chain from Vietnam
Nest - Design collective promoting artisan craftsmanship
Dear Leader - Eyewear for activists
Ana Katarina - Sustainable and ethically made in the USA jewelry
To The Market - Survivor-Made gift marketplace
Voz - Craft that empowers indigenous women
Raw Spirit - Luxury fragrances supporting marginalized communities
Gustavo Moscoso - Ecuadorean menswear designer
BMF Media* - Looking for a Design Company?
The Endless Co - Looking to tell a story? Be hip and use virtual reality!
Janhkoy - Fashion from re-purposed materials
Design & Flow - Design collective promoting positive social impact
There is no reason a manufacturer, designer or business of any sort shouldn't be participating in making an effort to be more sustainable. There are heaps of tools out there for businesses.