Fashion Revolution: Conscious Action NZ Event
Last week was the biggest week in the ethical fashion world: FASHION REVOLUTION. Fashion Revolution was founded after the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013, when 1,138 people were killed and 2,500+ were injured. The majority of the victims were sweatshop factory workers, forced into this unsafe building to make clothes sold by the world's biggest clothing brands. Fashion Revolution is a worldwide and all year round movement, but during the 23rd-29th of April, consumers are encouraged to ask "who made my clothes?", brands join the movement by being transparent in their production, bloggers share information, and events of all types are run all over the globe.
On the 24th of April, the 5th year anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, I was fortunate enough to attend a Conscious Action NZ event, along with 60+ other inspiring people. The evening left me inspired, informed, and bursting at the seams to do more. Here's how it all went down...
We were treated by snacks from Plant Culture, Hunter Gatherer Gourmet, The Larder Project, Forage and Ferment, and tea from Fine and Dandy. With nibbles in hand, we made our way to our seats. The venue was a cosy shared workshop space called 'The Workshop' in Ponsonby. Vines, plants, candles, and soft tones, meant we were already buzzing with energy around how to solve the issues of fast fashion!
The guest speakers were phenomenal. We heard from Jyoti Morningstar, founder of WE-AR, and Karishma Kelsey, founder of Karishma Design. The evening began with questions from the Conscious Action NZ team, Brian and Kayla, and merged into an open discussion of ethical fashion related topics from the audience. It was amazing to have a representative from Tearfund in the audience, who was able to answer questions about the recently released Ethical Fashion Guide- which you should totally download ASAP.
We talked natural fibres, workers rights, current production issues, eco-wardrobes, styling tips, how the founders got to be where they are now, the controversy with natural fibres, the hardships of working with makers overseas.
I couldn't help but put in my two-cents... I am super passionate about the fact we do not talk about HOW to care for our clothes, and often only think about how they are made (if that). I discussed how I connect with my clothes when I hand-wash and repair them. It's not often you get a moment to touch your clothes intimately, and consciously think about the fibres, the design, and the finer details. It makes sense that hand-washing has become a hobby of mine. It's a time of the week that I am able to internally thank the makers, look at the threads up close, and become connected with the skin I put on my body everyday. In doing this, I am more likely to keep my clothes for longer, increase their life span, and never get bored of them. This is slow fashion.
This may sound super airy-fairy... but more on this later (I'll write a blog post, promise).
The event finished with a short meditation. We were asked to shut our eyes, and think of one action that we would take with us. Something we have learnt, something that's arisen from our conversation, or something we have always wanted to begin, but never have.
I had two goals:
#1. To try air drying my clothes more
#2. To work on my passion for speaking about ethical fashion in schools. To make it sustainable for me, and spread my reach