Everything started when I worked for an Italian fashion company where one of my daily tasks was to write for a 24/7 newspaper. One day, one of the news that I had to cover was the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh. If you do not know the story, let me tell you:
Bangladesh is one of the geographical locations where most garment factories are situated, where famous fashion brands manufacture their merchandise. In these sweatshops people work in extreme poverty, without any medical service or insurance in case of accidents. Rana Plaza was one of the buildings where hundreds of men and woman worked in order to bring to you and me "fashion". One day, due to the deplorable conditions of the building, this collapsed, leaving widows, orphans and wounded.
This situation really broke my heart; to see the news, photos and videos of people crying and shouting for their loved ones ... and all for what? So that you and me could have that blouse or skirt that every fashion blogger is wearing at a low cost.
Time passed by, and every time I went to Zara, H&M, Bershka, and i saw the label "Made in Bangladesh", my conscience burst of thoughts and memories of that tragic event. That is why I made this promise:
"Not buy Fast Fashion" What ?! It's crazy I know, and I know there are some people who think "This is the only source of employment for these workers and by not buying the products we are cutting off their jobs." My answer is, No sir! I will not be part of an industry where "the price" to be "fashionable" is blood ... yes, blood. This Rana Plaza event is not an isolated fact, there are many more incidents in third world countries, such as fires in sweatshops, and don´t forgetting the altercation between police and garment workers in Cambodia, just because these workers demanded better payment and conditions. And also adding the gigantic environmental abuse.
Mr. Amancio Ortega, Stefan Persson and other executives, these people are just like you and me, they deserve the same rights.
Another big reason why I made this promise was because I felt that i was betraying my self every time I bought something from the fast fashion industry. As a fashiom designer I thought; "Mmm I could do this with better quality and design", and at the end I always refused to buy it. If I want my little brand (almost nonexistent brand) succeed, I have to start to support it, buy and use my own products and buy from others who are in same situation as me.
I don´t want to hurt or insult anyone, but sometimes I get so frustrated because bloggers support these brands, not only buying their products but also promoting them without any benefit in return, just only the garment that they already bought. But if there is a local small brand that wants to get noticed, they ask as a gift the product in order to promote it. Are you kidding me? If you really want to support a local brand purchase their products! The major brands do not need your promotion, we do!
All these thoughts exploded today, and i didn't want to miss the opportunity to write about this issue, and I ask an apology if you feel alluded or insulted, but I had to say it.
I'm not saying that you become so extreme as me, i just ask you to value the effort of many local designers and be reflexive about where your clothes come from. I just want you (even if i have just one person as an audience) have a little more awareness about the harsh reality of the industry.
I wanna invite you to see this amazing film about the whole situation. This movie was the straw that broke the camel and that prompted me to write this post (you can see it on Netflix)
And finally I want to call to every fashion bloggers to join this promise and write about it in your blog, or just wear and buy local products.Together we can revolutionize this industry. It is up to us as consumers and as human beings.