How to have a fashion revolution at home


Fashion Revolution Week is back from 19 to 25 April. Last year op shop blogger Hannah Klose shared why there's never been a better time for a personal Fashion Revolution, and her words are as relevant as ever.

Have you ever wondered where your clothes were made? Or who might have made them?

Sometimes it’s hard to picture the kind of conditions our clothes were made in when they’re presented as pretty items in store and online, but unfortunately the fashion industry has an ugly side.

This terrible reality became very clear seven years ago when Rana Plaza, a factory complex in Bangladesh, collapsed killing 1,138 garment workers and injuring 2,500 more.

From this completely preventable tragedy, the ‘Fashion Revolution’ movement was born. A collective group of citizens from within the fashion industry and around the globe came together to make a stand for the modern-day slaves making our clothes and put the pressure back on brands to be more accountable and transparent.

According to the Global Slavery Index (2018), the garment industry is the second largest sector driving modern slavery, which affects over 40 million people, most of who live in poverty, and are rarely paid a living wage.

Fashion Revolution Week (FRW) aims to change this by asking brands #WhoMadeMyClothes and demanding that the people who make our clothes are visible and their human rights are respected.



While the focus for FRW is on asking brands for more transparency, it’s also the perfect time to have a personal fashion revolution within our own wardrobes.

Given the pandemic has forced most of us to bunker down at home,  it could be an opportune time to reevaluate our own fashion footprint.

Did you know 24% of Australians have thrown away an item of clothing after wearing it just once? Textile waste is a growing problem, with 6000kg of unwanted clothing being sent to landfill every 10 minutes in Australia.

Based on current consumption, it’s estimated the fashion industry will consume resources equivalent to two Earths, with the demand for clothing forecast to increase by 63 per cent in the next 10 years if nothing changes.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.




Co-founder of Fashion Revolution, Orsola De Castro, says ‘the most sustainable garment is the one already in your wardrobe’, so while you’re waiting for the pandemic to pass, take the time to sort through your wardrobe and find the pieces you haven’t worn for six months or more, and challenge yourself to find new ways to wear them.

Sometimes it helps to have a vision of a look you like, so while you’re endlessly scrolling Instagram start saving outfits so you can recreate them with what you already have.

If you’re really feeling uninspired you could also try a daily style challenge during this time to help reset your styling skills.



If you’ve never had the time to get creative with your clothes, treat yourself to a crafternoon! Check out Collective Gen and Cotton and Curls for some simple sewing projects, from upcycling men’s shirts to turning maxi dresses into two-piece sets, there are so many options for giving old garments a new lease on life.


Rather than buying new, take the #haulternative challenge and try refreshing your wardrobe with some preloved pieces.

Your local thrift shop or preloved clothing market will be the perfect place to search for sustainable style after the pandemic. In the meantime app’s like Depop, Etsy, Gumtree, Ebay and even Facebook Marketplace are all great platforms for sourcing second hand.



If there are pieces in your wardrobe that you can’t bear to wear again, set them aside for a clothes swap with some friends after this is all over. You can also keep an eye on @StyleXMinistry on Instagram for the next Insta Swap Drop online.


Or let others do the leg work for you! Download the Good on You app which rates over 1,000 fashion brands on their impact on people and the planet. They also list hundreds of ethical brands so you can shop with peace of mind.

You could also, check out Fashion Revolution’s Transparency Index 2019, watch the True Cost of Fashion documentary, read Baptist World Aid’s Ethical Fashion Report, and listen to the podcasts Conscious Chatter and Wardrobe Crisis.



In this season of slowing down, why don’t you take the opportunity to consider the brands you buy and ask them some of the big questions like #whomademyclothes?

You could also ask what impact the Coronavirus crisis is having on the workers in their supply chains. According to Bloomberg News, major fashion brands have cancelled orders across more than 1,000 garment factories in Bangladesh since the outbreak started, and there are reports of brands stopping payments for orders already placed.

Fashion Revolution has a template ready to roll on their website making it super easy to send a message to show you care about who creates your clothing.

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