We’ve all been there: making New Year’s resolutions, some bigger than others. We have solemnly declared that we would sign up to the gym, go carbs-free and read Anna Karenina in the original version. But somehow come March, these resolutions melt away like winter snow under the spring sun. So instead of writing down hard-to-keep New Year’s resolutions, how about making 2014 a year of sustainable revolution in fashion? And one that would last beyond just one season?
This year, there is one such revolution taking place (and believe me, being Russian I don’t use the term lightly!). It is the Fashion Revolution Day on 24 April 2014, which will mark the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh. The idea is a brainchild of industry leaders, campaigners and academics who saw the tragedy as a metaphorical call to arms. One simple thing every one of us can do is to wear our clothes inside out on the day as a mark of respect to the people who made our clothes. And in the era of social media, it’s all about sharing: like Fashion Revolution on Facebook, Instagram it, or tweet it at @Fash_rev with a hashtag #insideout.
The next Copenhagen Fashion Summit will also take place on 24 April. Held under the patronage of HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, the Summit will highlight the fashion industry’s most innovative solutions to the global environmental, social and ethical challenges. Unfortunately, I will be on the wrong side of the planet on the day, but will no doubt be following this exciting event online.
The arrival of a New Year is certainly a perfect moment to get changed. To more sustainable fashion. To help you on the way, the Fair Fashion Network has set up a website GetChanged.net with location of stores and brands that sell fair trade, eco and slow fashion. At the moment it covers predominately Germany and parts of Switzerland, with a smattering of other locations. I hope that getting changed in other parts of the world will be easier in the year ahead.
Finally, in 2014 you can revolutionize your wardrobe by pledging to only buy sustainable clothes or even going on a week/month/year-long shopping ban. You can draw inspiration from Redress’s Christina Dean and her 365 Challenge of dressing from the bins of Hong Kong or Maria Von Losch’s 365 Days Shop My Closet Challenge. As for me, I decided to only add to my wardrobe clothes that gifted, second-hand, vintage or ‘schwapped’ (exchanged during clothes-swapping parties).
2014, bring it on!
What is your personal fashion re(s)(v)olution for the year ahead? Join the conversation!