That’s a pretty simple question.
Everyway we wake up, brush our teeth, and put on our clothes. Our clothing tells the world who we are. They indicate our personality, our style, and our personal taste. And they’re with us during important moments in our life.
I remember vividly when I made the conscious choice to stop wearing black everyday. I had bought into the idea that black clothes are more slimming and that I needed to appear as slim as possible. When I started making my own clothes, though, I learned that sewing colorful fabric was far more exciting and engaging.
I also remember the moment I heard about the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh. Until then I was sewing out of frustration with ready-to-wear. When I learned of the garment building tragedy that killed thousands, most of whom had been earning between $.24 and $.48 PER HOUR, by motivation changed.
The demand for “fast fashion” has grown substantially in the past decade. Stores like Forever 21 and H&M sell a piece of the fashion industry trend for a fraction of the cost. We don’t think about it because we never see the makers, but someone in another country earned a quarter of a dollar an hour to make the $10 dress you just bought.
Every April the interwebs join together for Fashion Revolution Week. People from all over the globe ask a simple question: “Who made my clothes?” The answer is simple for those of us who have chosen to produce our own fashion – “I DID!”
I realize not everyone has the interest, time or resources to make their own clothing. I get it. I’ve barely sewn for myself this year. But the question remains important.
We make decisions everyday – and most of them require little thought or measuring against our personal values. Most of our choices are based on our preferences – what we like, what we don’t like, what we’re in the mood for.
What if we approached buying clothing the same way we approach other decisions? What if we asked serious questions before making a purchase?
“Who made this?”
“Is their work facility safe?”
“Do they make a livable wage?”
“Do I want my money supporting a system that exploits others?”
These questions matter to me. Modern Seamstress is not just about dressing fabulously – it’s also about living consciously, reducing harm on the earth and others, and being mindful about personal consumption.
Who made your clothes?