"I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own." Audre Lorde.
I’ve been told over the years to share less about the real issues behind fast fashion, that I talk too much about injustice and inequality, that I shouldn't talk about the problems and instead just promote 'pretty' fashion'. Needless to say, I don't listen to those fools, but more importantly, I advocate for the women who they silence with their privileged opinions.
No woman is truly free, until ALL women are free, and we're not there yet. If you're a feminist and if you want equality in the world, and you buy fast fashion - you're not really a feminist.
Being aware and acknowledging problems is how we change them. Ignoring problems, even though it’s hard to face them, changes nothing. Uncomfortable conversations create change, and conversations have the power to change lives, so I'm ok with having uncomfortable conversations - if it means I'm doing something good for the world.
I don't get up every day to share 'pretty' fashion, there's enough of that. I get up every day to change the industry, to make it better, to start uncomfortable conversations that eventually inspire change, and to create the kind of world I want to live in and leave behind.
When my children one day ask why slavery exists - and they will - how do I explain that other kids have to work for 19 cents an hour and walk home barefoot to an empty shack without power and enough food? What answer do I give them... "Because they're just unlucky and those kids were born there and you were born here kiddo?"
No, it's not good enough. What happens 'over there' - where fast fashion is made with modern slavery and child labour - happens because we make privileged choices 'over here' to ignore it, and it's not good enough.
If you want equality for yourself, you've got to expect it and fight for it for others.
So how do we fix fast fashion? Have uncomfortable conversations. Talk about inequality at the table and do something about it. Make changes to the way you shop and make ethical choices. Research before you buy. Educate your family and friends. Stand up and say something.
If you're ready for a fast fashion detox and what to shop ethically, start here.
The Fashion Advocate x