This is definitely a first for this blog-the review of a ‘zine’, which is defined by urban dictionary as basically a cheaply made publication filled with passion.  I love this definition because it perfectly describes this fashion revolution zine. I ordered it awhile ago, probably about a year ago now when I first started researching the harmful effects of fast fashion. I jumped on this bandwagon after watching The True Cost, a devastating documentary on the perils of clothing consumption. You can watch it on netflix, so it’s easy to find. Anyway, after watching it I felt absolutely horrible, in fact I cried while watching it, and I felt I had to do something, at the very least educate myself further on making smarter choices as a consumer.

Fashion Revolution is the non-profit organization based in the UK dedicated to pushing clothing companies to become more transparent about their production chains-from the farmers who grow the cotton to the people who sew each stitch, every person involved deserves to make a fair wage within a safe environment, not just those at the top. They’ve published this zine for a few years now (although I’m reviewing the first edition), and I wanted to highlight it in honour of fashion revolution week, which is April 23-29th, 2018.

‘garment worker diaries’; showing photos of their lives outside of the factories

Now that I’ve outlined my reasons for purchasing this publication, I should probably tell you what’s in it!  There’s a great mix of things, from artwork to puzzles to articles to in-depth photo journalism. Based on the style and content, I’m going to guess and say this is aimed at a younger audience (16-25ish), but I still found it informative and entertaining to read. I zipped through it in about half an hour, but there’s definitely some articles I can continue to refer to when I want to take the next step in my ‘clothing activism’ path.

The cost breakdown of a typical t-shirt

The most interesting fact that I took away from this zine was the fact that if clothing items went up about 1.57 pounds (so around 3 dollars Canadian/US), everyone within the chain could make a living wage-$3!!!! Isn’t it crazy to think that such a small increase in price could improve millions of lives so drastically? And the majority of consumers most likely wouldn’t notice this increase. The fact is, clothing keeps getting cheaper and cheaper each year simply because of environmental and human rights exploitation, so people are buying more and more, which means textiles are filling up our landfills at an exponential rate. For instance, in honour of Earth Day last weekend, I heard the most ridiculous ad on the radio-Old Navy was selling ‘earth day’ t-shirts for 5 dollars to help ‘celebrate’ the holiday. Have you ever heard of something so stupid?  Yes, let’s celebrate saving the environment by purchasing a shitty t-shirt you’ll wear once because it will probably develop holes in it soon afterwards. Or, if you decide to donate it, it will get shipped to a third world country and end up in their garbage instead, because most donated clothes end up in the landfill anyway. Depressing isn’t it?

case study of garment workers pay, expenses, day-to-day schedule and working conditions

Ok I’m aware this review is turning into a rant, but you can see how reading this zine and watching the above movie has gotten under my skin-isn’t this a sign of good writing? I think so, which is why I highly recommend you check out Fashion Revolution, browse their latest zines and think twice about that next purchase of ‘fast fashion’.