FASHION REVOLUTION WEEK: THE TRUE COST
This is Shima Akter and her daughter Nadia. She’s a garment worker in Dhaka. She speaks with a beautiful smile. With this smile she talks about her love for her daughter. With this smile, she explains how she has to leave her daughter with her family, miles away, knowing she may only see her twice a year, so she can work for 3 dollars a day in a clothing factory. With this smile, she describes how she started a union, with a list of demands to better their working environment. The managers response was to lock them in an office to be beaten with fists in their stomachs and banging their heads on the wall. With her smile, and her tears, she says,
‘I don’t want anyone wearing anything that is produced by our blood’
If you haven’t already seen The True Cost, a documentary by Andrew Morgan, you need to. You can find it on Netflix. The film puts a human face on how the world's 40 million garment workers are suffering as developing countries, desperate to attract business from abroad, fail to enforce wage and labor laws, while big fashion brands seemingly keep their hands clean.
Fast fashion is not clean. Big companies like H&M, Zara, Topshop and Forever 21 have the power to address the poverty, inequality and environmental damage of their desire for growth. They want you to believe that buying more stuff will make you happy, when the opposite is true. Materialism is making you miserable.
BUT WHAT CAN YOU DO?
It’s not all hopeless. You have consumer power. This week is FASHION REVOLUTION WEEK. The Fash_Rev movement, called to action after the devastating Raza Plaza collapse in 2013, are just like you. They too love fashion but don't want it at the cost of exploiting people and our planet.