it's your turn to
Tag! You're It is an awareness campaign motivating fashion consumers to ask questions regarding who makes our clothes, as well as how the materials and production effects our planet. While the global fashion industry continues to exploit garment worker's rights, and damage our environment. It's up to us to practice conscious consumer behavior and encourage ethical, sustainable, and minimalist solutions.
We purchase 400% more clothing than we did 20 years ago. So why do we feel like we never have anything to wear? Fast fashion has accelerated our consumption of clothes by making it cheap and readily accessible from the catwalk to the shelves in a matter of weeks. The average U.S. citizen buys 64 items of clothing per year. As we feed our disillusioned desire for more stuff, we are increasingly disconnecting ourselves from the truth.
we don't know who makes our clothes.
1 in 6 people in the world work in the apparel industry, 80% are women, and 98% are not receiving a living wage. The Global Slavery Index estimates that 36 million people are living in modern slavery today, many of who are working in the supply chains of Western brands. When we buy clothes we don't think about where they're made, what the materials are made of, or whether or not the cheap price reflects fair wage for production. It's time we start asking, "who made my clothes?"
lack of transparency.
The 2015 Behind the Barcode report found that 219 brands surveyed, 91% didn’t know where their cotton is coming from, 75% do not know the source of all their fabrics and inputs and only half actually trace where their products are cut and sewn. Why is this a problem? If big brands don't know where their production is taking place how can they take responsibility? Instead, they're reaping the benefits while workers are exploited for cheap labor.
Corners are constantly being cut on work place safety. On September 11, 2012 the garment factory Ali Enterprises caught fire killing 254 people and injuring 55. Fires caused by faulty electrics lead to more detrimental aftermaths because of failure to provide fire safety, fire extinguishers, is common among factories meeting the pressures of fast fashion demand. No one should have to go to work in fear of their safety.
profit is increasing and so are the death tolls.
Top fast fashion brands had sales of $72 million in 2014 compared to $38 million in 2013, a year after the deadliest disaster ever to occur in the global garment industry. On April 24, 2013 the garment factory Rana Plaza in Bangladesh collapsed killing 1,138 and injuring more than 2,500 people. The workers were producing brands for multinational retailers making an average of $68 per month when the living wage should be $332 per month. Coincidence these deadly disasters have increased since the rise of fast fashion? I think not.
The average U.S citizen throws away 70 pounds of clothing & other textiles annually. 95% of clothes thrown out with domestic waste could be re-worn, reused, or recycled again. With 80 billion pieces of clothing produced each year clothing has turned into a disposable artifact rather than an investment. If we continue down this path how much waste will we contribute to?
you're wearing the second dirtiest thing on the planet.
The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, and the second largest consumer of water. How is that possible? The materials and production processes that go behind making our clothes is more complex than you think. Leading to water waste, air pollution, carbon emissions in our ecosystems, chemicals seeping into soil, to pesticides and toxic chemicals in our clothes.
fashion is thirsty.
The textile industry uses 100 million gallons of water per year. Cotton one of the most water dependent crops is grown in water scarce areas around the world and its environmental damages is happening on a wide scale. For example, the Amur Darya and Syr Darya rivers have lead to the near-disappearance of the Aral Sea due to cotton irrigation. Take a look to your left or google maps for yourself.
Cotton is one of the most water and pesticide driven crops out there. It takes on average 700 gallons of water to make one cotton shirt, and one third of a pound of pesticides. Roughly $2 billion worth of chemicals are sprayed on cotton crops worldwide every year, half of which are designated toxic by the World Health Organization. Why does cotton matter? It represents nearly half the fibre used to make clothes and other textiles worldwide. Talk about a toxic love for fashion.
say no to clothes with a toxic trail.
There's natural fibers and then there's synthetic fibers. The six synthetic fibers to avoid: nylon, rayon, polyester, acetate, acrylic, and spandex. Why? Well for one these materials are ridden with perflourinated chemicals (PFC'S) which have been classified as cancer-causing compounds by the EPA. Not to mention these fabrics take from 200 to 400 years to biodegrade... This synthetic textile waste that's sitting in landfills is emitting other gases into our atmosphere and contributing to climate change. Convinced yet?
We need to critique our consumption of clothing and ask questions to the brands we love to ensure a socially responsible and sustainable industry. As fashion consumers we hold all the power as to what is put in demand. It's simple. If we boycott red shirts do you really think brands will continue to make them if there's no profit? Don't view your contribution as small. Knowledge is power and the sooner we can spread the hard cold facts the sooner we can change policy by demanding transparency and eco-friendly methods of production.