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.
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 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?
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’.
I did not know that most donated clothing gets tossed anyway. That’s sad. I will definitely be checking out that documentary!
it’s good-but prepare yourself!
Rant away! It’s not only clothing – all textiles are ridiculously underpriced. I remember watching the shopping channel once and they were selling a handmade quilt. I can’t remember the actual figures now, but the guy was boasting about how many hours of stitching went into it, and, being a geek, I calculated how much they could have earned per hour given the price of the quilt. It was horrendous – a few pence per hour. Lucky if they’d have made a dollar a day. And I SO agree about these ridiculous wear-them-once t-shirts, or special sweaters with a Santa design to be worn only on Christmas day!
right? Ugh, it’s so frustrating, and apparently our clothing consumption has gone up by some exorbitant percentage over the past decade because stuff is so cheap now. And people don’ t want to be seen wearing the same thing twice, which is just so stupid.
I’m definitely a fan of wear-it-forever and buy-it-used shopping practices. The strange thing is, people seem to think if you don’t buy new clothes frequently that you’re “poor.” For those who know I’m not poor, they recommend I “treat myself right” by, you guessed it, buying new clothes.
I’m really hoping people will be eventually see the light (as you clearly have) and avoid buying new clothes on such a regular basis. I buy expensive clothes, but not very often, (sort of like the old days!) and I much prefer this way of shopping.
Yes, quality over quantity. Honestly, I get a little jealous when I read old memoirs in which someone remembers a dress her mother sewed for her. That dress has stuck with her FOREVER–because clothes didn’t come often, and they were made by hand.
I love this! For about a year now I’ve made an effort to buy only either secondhand or ethically-made clothing for the girls and I and it’s been eye-opening. We definitely have a messes up culture surrounding “fast fashion”.
I find it hard to source ethically-made clothing for kids-any recommendations?
I get about 80% of the girls’ clothes second hand but it is getting harder to find good stuff as Pearl gets older. I just ordered from Minimioche so we’ll see how they are and I’ve gotten a few things from a BC company called Little & Lively. Pact Organics is good for basics like underwear and t-shirts. I’ve bought a few things from Hatley as well. They’re Canadian and made in India and as far as I’ve been able to learn they seem to have an ethical model. I’m definitely spending more on individual pieces now but trying to buy less to balance it out.
Oh yes i’ve gotten a few things from Little and Lively too! Cute company.
Wow, this sounds like a cool but eye-opening zine (and documentary.) I’m a little afraid to watch it, honestly! I am no clotheshorse but i definitely do still shop at some of those fast-fashion places. I do tend to wear things for a long time but still. I would most willingly pay $3.00 more per garment to give the people who make it a living wage!!
well it’s not necessarily a bad thing to shop at those places either, so don’t beat yourself up over it. If we boycott those stores a bunch of people would lose their much-needed jobs. I think it’s all about finding a balance!
Oh, this whole industry is so depressing!
When the kids were little, they all wore almost exclusively used clothes – it’s a little more work to find what you want, but most of the clothes have so much life left in them still! I used to buy mostly used clothes for myself, but at some point gave up because I just didn’t have the time it took anymore. Now, I’m more likely to buy more expensive clothes that will last a long time. And I wear them over and over. And now that the kids are teenagers they’re so much pickier. But we still try to put a limit on it. I buy what they *need*, and anything else they have to pay for themselves, which makes them think twice.
Thanks for the rant!
(Also, I’ve been thinking of you and that baby, and wondering…)
haha any day now! I’m 38 weeks tomorrow 🙂
Thanks for sharing this I will be investigating this topic a bit more. It is also okay to rant sometime 🙂 You and your readers may enjoy this post on rants
Thank you for sharing this; I’m interested in checking out the documentary and definitely want to read the zine now!
thank you for reading!