Having just passed one of the most significant dates in modern fashion history, this update was imminent.
Today, we are all consumed in a capitalist era of having the latest items and the most current trend. We harbour an illicit desire to own the newest of all things. But at what cost?
7 years ago this greed for fast fashion decked up in an infinite plethora of the latest designs and patterns led to one of the biggest structural disasters in human history.
24th April 2020 marked the 7th year of the Rana Plaza factory fire and collapse in Bangladesh. A human tragedy of massive proportions, that left casualties of more than 1,100 people. This could have easily been avoided had brands paid more attention to the people who worked for them. Despite the appearance of cracks in the building on previous days workers were locked in the premises to finish their day’s work, along with threats to withhold their month’s paycheque. These workers who are not even paid a living wage had to give up their lives for the world to sit up and take notice.
Currently, we wait for the brands to open their eyes to atrocities in developing nations that their warehouses and factories are performing. However, we on the other hand can reduce consumption, or indulge in conscious consumption. Rather than discarding old clothes and shopping for new ones every 3 months, let’s work on the ones we have and elongate their life cycle.
This is how!
Boredom with the clothes you have is natural! We all seek newness in everything we do. So, if you’re on your way to discard old shirts or chinos, this is a great way to upcycle them. Sew a patch of fabric on your shirt pocket, collar or cuff. Look for a fabric that belongs to the design family of your shirt, with a contrasting or complementing colour scheme. You could add a plain patch, a checkered one or just about any print!
So many clothes get mindlessly thrown in the bin due to a small defect. Sometimes, they’re ripped at the seam, they hold a determined stain, they have a small tear and such. No wonder, the earth’s landfills are filling with non-decomposable fabrics and cloths at a rate higher than any other industry’s. Instead, let’s normalise attaching small embroidered patches to hide rips and tears. Not only does this add a layer of characteristic beauty, it also leans towards a culture that celebrates flaws rather than hiding them under carpets.
How many times has this happened to you that you put your shirt in a single shade in the machine only for it to have changed colours overnight? If this sounds like a problem you have, then don’t throw the tie-and-dye print you’re now sporting. Ask your local vendor to dye it for you. He will most likely recommend a darker hue than your OG shade. Well, an extra black, burgundy or brown shirt never hurt anyone!