Fast Fashion, A Feminist Issue?

Given that 80% of garment workers are women aged between 19-35, the production of fast fashion is very much a feminist issue. 

Facts

Given that 80% of garment workers are women (aged between 19-35) there’s no doubt that the production of fast fashion is very much a feminist issue. At one end of the supply chain you’ll find underpaid garment workers and mass environmental damage whilst at the other, we’re consuming over 52 fast-fashion collection cycles per year. 

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Clothes should empower not exploit. Ask the brands you love #whomademyclothes and demand a fair, safe and more transparent fashion industry. www.fashionrevolution.org/get-involved —————————————— We’ve made a REALLY easy tool on our website for emailing brands directly and asking #whomademyclothes. It just takes 1 minute, and it's more powerful than asking brands on instagram stories as it won't disappear after 24hrs. Why not send emails to all of your favourite brands? Let's fill up their inboxes for Monday morning! 📩📩📩📩📩 www.fashionrevolution.org/get-involved. 👈Some brands won’t answer at all. Some might tell you where your clothes were made but not who made them. Some will direct you to their corporate social responsibility policy. Only a few pioneers will show that they know something about the people who make their clothes. Let us know how they respond by tagging us at @fash_rev. Already asked #whomademyclothes, but the brand hasn’t replied yet? Ask again. And keep asking. 📣Our power is in persistence! 💪

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In garment factories across South Asia and India, millions of women work for minimal wage, often with little health and safety regulations in their place of work. These dangerous conditions have resulted in devastating disasters, such as the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh in 2012. The catastrophe killed 1,133 people (80% of which were women) and injured around 2,500. 

As the fast fashion industry continues to boom, it’s often argued that the fast-fashion industry is built upon the exploitation of women for profit.

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Today is #ZeroDiscrimination Day. In our Garment Worker Diaries project, which was a year-long research project focused on the lives and wages of 540 garment workers in Cambodia, Bangladesh and India, workers reported that discrimination was common in the factories, stating that age, gender, and pregnancy were influential factors that determined if a worker was hired or fired. Have you got 1 minute to spare? ✔️ Want to make a positive difference? ✔️Then click the link in our bio to send an email to ask your favourite brands to give garment workers a voice to address discrimination. One of the most powerful things that you can do is make clear to brands that it is important to you that workers in their supply chain have trade union representation and real bargaining power. Through trade unions and collective bargaining, workers can address issues related to working conditions such as long hours, discrimination, and health and safety as well as wages. Take action. 👇 http://workerdiaries.org/take-action/ (link in bio) It's super easy and takes less than 1 minute. ⏳Just pick the brand you want to contact, fill out your name and email address, and press send. 📩Easy as that! It will send an email straight to the inbox of your selected brand. 👋You can fill this letter out multiple times and send to as many different brands as you like.✉️✉️✉️ ———————————————————— Explore cutting-edge new research from our #WorkerDiaries project about Cambodian garment workers lives and wages 👇www.workerdiaries.org/reports. The Garment Worker Diaries is a year-long research project in collaboration with @microfinance_opportunities and supported by @candafoundation #workerdiaries #fashionrevolution

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Progress

In recent years, Fashion Revolution has drawn significant attention to the fast fashion industry. Their more recent campaign asked consumers to question their favourite brands supply chains, to find out: #whomademyclothes. The hashtag received 99.6 million impressions on Twitter and 170,000 posts were shared on Instagram and Twitter, lobbying for more transparency within the fashion industry. 

Brands have begun to follow suit. As Sophie Slater, co-founder of Birdsong (a feminist fashion brand that connects women from worker to wearer) said: “We can’t campaign for equal working rights and maternity pay on the one hand and still be perpetuating this exploitative system on the other.” 

Birdsong’s manifesto “no sweatshop, no photoshop” promises to only sell clothes that empower women: at every stage of the supply chain, through to advertising and sales. 

Birdsong is one of many examples of the progress being made, in a push to educate and connect consumers to the process in which their clothes are manufactured.

Proving it’s possible to be fashion-focused and actively support female workers, it’s time for the fashion industry to make employment fair and empowering, for everyone.

HEADER IMAGE CREDIT: fashionrev.com