Here at A Plus, we're passionate about raising awareness about unethical practices in the fashion industry and highlighting those who are working to make a difference.
We cover companies that want to help you discover clothes that align with both your style and your values, initiatives that aim to fight the harmful impact fashion pollution has on our environment, and designers that hope to inspire you to reuse, repurpose, and reassess your wardrobe. We share videos that show the real cost of an $8 shirt, and expose the harsh realities of where your clothes are made.
It's Fashion Revolution Week (April 24 - 30) and we're aiding Fashion Revolution, a UK-based non-profit dedicated to fighting for transparency, sustainability, and ethics in the fashion industry, in their efforts. The organization's #WhoMadeMyClothes campaign, which runs this week, encourages people to ask brands "Who made my clothes?" and demand more transparency in the fashion supply chain.
"Our clothes have gone on a long journey before they hit store shelves, passing through the hands of cotton farmers, spinners, weavers, dyers, and sewers," the Fashion Revolution team wrote on their website. "Seventy-five million people work to make our clothes. 80 percent of them are women between the ages of 18 and 24. However, the majority of the people who makes clothes for the global market live in poverty, unable to afford life's basic necessities. Many are subject to exploitation; verbal and physical abuse, working in unsafe conditions, with very little pay."
To help make change, we need to demand transparency and change our shopping habits.
We at A Plus are asking labels "Who made my clothes?" and revealing how learning more about ethical fashion has affected the way we shop.
"As a fashion writer, I discover new brands every day that aim to make a positive difference within the fashion industry — and successfully so. It's made me realize how important it is to not only support those brands, but to build a sustainable wardrobe that benefits the longevity of my own closet and our shared planet."
—Claire Peltier, associate editor
"As a co-founder of a sustainable fashion label, I quickly came to realize how little transparency there was in the industry. Sure, labels can audit factories that produce their garments, but the issue goes way beyond that. What about the actual fabrics and yarns labels buy for their designs? Often even brands are not aware where the cotton they are using was picked, who weaved and dyed their fabrics, etc.
We as consumers should ask for transparency throughout the entire supply chain. I'd say, I've definitely become a way more conscious shopper since diving into the industry. I shop less, but better. I want fashion to be beautiful for everyone, including people who made my clothes."
—Danute Rasimaviciute, senior branded content manager
"As a vegan, I try to make conscious, ethical, and sustainable purchasing choices as often as possible. Sometimes, though, it's easy to fall short in this personal mission if I don't know where clothes came from or who made them. Once I started seeking out this information, I realized I need to apply the same ethical and humane standards to my clothing as I do my makeup, hair product, and food choices."
—Lindsay Geller, associate editor
"Until a few years ago, I knew very little about the unethical practices used in the fashion industry or the harmful effects fashion pollution has on our planet. My biggest concerns when shopping were price and fit, not where the clothes came from, who made them, or the effect they have on the enviornment.
Now, I realize how important it is to be a socially conscious shopper. I make an effort to spend my money on quality pieces from labels I trust that I can wear frequently, and avoid fast fashion stores. The clothes are often more expensive, but I'm buying less of them, so the effect is similar on my wallet. I also shop and sell or donate my old clothes at thrift stores to help reduce my carbon footprint. The last change I've made is totally free: I talk to other people about this issue to bring awareness to it.
I alone may not be able to change the fashion industry's unethical practices, but I can be one of many who do."
—Ariana Marini, associate editor
"Learning more about sustainable fashion has made me a more conscious shopper. I'm less likely to shop at fast fashion stores and more likely to invest in quality pieces that we're made under ethical circumstances."
—Abby Rogers, senior social media editor
"I often take for granted how much power I have as a consumer to make the changes I want to see in the fashion industry. But sometimes I just don't have the information to even know whether or not I'm making smart fashion choices. If all brands were transparent about their supply chains, I'd feel more empowered to choose those I believe in.
Plus, if we all demanded this kind of transparency, we'd incentivize brands to ensure their clothes are not having a negative impact on the environment, that they are being made in safe working conditions, and that those producing the garments are earning a fair living wage. Now, that's real power."
—Sarah Barness, lifestyle senior editor