Fashion has been an interest of mine since I was a little girl, and growing up I always loved going to the mall to shop the latest trends. However, the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve realized that there is more to the fast fashion industry than meets the eye. While the low price tag of trendy clothing makes it more accessible to consumers in first world countries, the industry only exists because it can exploit people in developing countries and our planet’s natural resources. It’s important to learn about how and where our clothes are made so we are better able to make ethical decisions when buying clothes.
Through my exhibit, I want to bring awareness to the unethical practices of the fast fashion industry. Did you know it’s the second largest polluting industry in the world, after oil? Were you aware that the U.S. outsources 97% of its clothing production to countries such as Bangladesh and China because that means they can pay workers less, and don’t have to ensure safe working conditions in factories? When I found out more about the industry, it definitely affected the way I view clothing.
I believe that knowing about where our clothing comes from, and knowing alternatives to buying brand new clothes, can make an impact on our shopping habits. Shopping from sustainable and ethical brands is not always accessible because it can be expensive, so reducing your consumption of new clothing, upcycling clothing that you already own, and shopping second hand are a few of the ways we can make a positive change. We hold a lot of power in the way we choose to spend our money.