Once upon a time—wait, no. There was no happy ending. It was a tragedy.
It all started after the Rana Plaza disaster on the 24th of April in 2013, when an industrial complex in Bangladesh, housing five large garment factories supplying global brands, collapsed, killing over 1,000 people – and causing uproar from around the world, as citizens massively questioned the ethics of the clothing industry, and urged major companies to take action in assuring a safe, equitable, and humane fashion revolution. The week of April 24th is now international Fashion Revolution Week, part of a year-round initiative.
“The global fashion industry is opaque, exploitative and environmentally damaging and desperately needs revolutionary change. Fashion Revolution wants to ignite a revolution to radically change the way our clothes are sourced, produced and purchased. We believe transparency is the first step to transform the industry, and it starts with one simple question: who made my clothes? Join us by showing your clothing label and asking brands #whomademyclothes, to show that you care and demand better for the people who make our clothes.” – www.facebook.com/fashionrevolution.org
Here at Vanier, students and staff had the chance to participate by partaking in the college’s first clothing swap hosted by Student Services, on April 25th and 27th. A number of clothes were donated, though mostly women’s – a point which will hopefully improve next year, with plans to publicize the event more. None the less, it provided a great opportunity for students to learn about sustainable consumerism, all while doing a little free shopping/swapping!
Besides the swap, one could also pick up a few basic sewing and mending skills through the workshop on April 27th, in Jake’s Mall. Two women from The Common Thread, a cooperative sewing studio that provides a workspace for full and part-time members, as well as public access to sewing tools, resources and education, assisted students in repairing garments and creating some nifty DIY projects. They provided everything – including sewing machines – and are so sustainable that they biked in, pulling their equipment on a mini trailer! Find out more about The Common Thread at www.thecommonthreadmtl.ca.
Written By Katherine Willcocks