‘Fast fashion’ has become a widespread phenomenon around the world – a powerful and often addictive past time that exists as a constant source of enjoyment and pleasure in our lives. Demand for cheap, easily accessible clothes and fashion has led to a growth of large fashion companies exploiting cheap labour for profit. Fashion Revolution, a global coalition of advocates, fashion designers, writers and business leaders, is a response to this trend, calling for a revolution in the current fashion supply chain. The campaign highlights the true cost of fashion to consumers globally, asking them to question ‘who made their clothes’ in order to transform the fashion industry to value people, the environment and profit equally.
Think about how often you scan your favourite fashion blog for the latest trends, or put a cheap tee or dress into your online ‘basket’ for you to purchase when your next pay comes in. We want the latest fashion, designer looks and accessories – but fast and cheap. ‘Fast fashion’ has taught us as consumers that we must have the latest trends and clothing with little or no consideration of the impact this has on our environment or workers rights. The Rana Plaza collapse two years ago brought worldwide attention to the horrific conditions many factory workers suffer under, demonstrating the true cost of buying cheap and fast. Earning a living wage is a basic human right, and yet it is becoming rare that this right is guaranteed, particularly in an era of consumer driven fashion that places wants over needs and a disregard for where and how our favourite fashion brands produce their clothes. The outsourcing of production to low income, poor countries by large fast fashion corporations has led to the reduction of production costs due to high volumes being produced. However, whilst being promoted as a way to ‘lift people from the cycle of poverty,’ fast fashion comes at the expense of factory worker’s freedom and dignity, and perpetuates the cycle of exploitation which fuels the industry.
At Liminal, we believe that our consumer choices can bring freedom and hope to the people who produce our products. We work with women in Kolkata, India, who are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, providing them with an opportunity to break free from the cycle of trafficking by giving them skills to produce beautiful bags and clothing. Making Freeset Products is part of a women’s journey to freedom. To her friends and neighbours among the thousands still trapped in the sex trade, she is a symbol of hope. At Liminal, we want our customers to be part of this story of hope and freedom. As consumers we have the power to radically change the fashion industry by creating a demand for ethically produced fashion that places the rights and dignity of workers at its core. To support the women we work with, purchase some of our products today!