Four years ago today 1,138 people died and many more were injured in the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh. You'd think that would have changed the view of the world on fashion forever, but it didn't. Instead fast fashion brands have been growing, expanding opening new shops around the globe. Some of them 'greenwashing' by starting collections that are meant to be 'green' but really just adding another collection to the 52 collections a year they have already and that remain unchanged. Here's the truth. It is simply not possible to produce a $5/£5 t-shirt and ensure that both the people producing it and the environment are taken care of whilst making the brand money. It's simply not possible.
The good news is that by deciding where and how we spend our hard-earned money we can change the system.
Always remember the Uber episode, when a few months ago the CEO had to step back from Trump's advisory board as millions of people worldwide deleted the app. Never forget that this has been possible through social media as the #DeleteUber hashtag and posts travelled around the globe in a matter of hours. This is the kind of power we have as consumers and the incredible tool of social media we have been given to fight what isn't right?
Climate change isn't right. Fast fashion isn't right. Cheap fashion isn't right. There is more important things to die for than fashion, don't you think?
In this spirit Fashion Revolution started a campaign years ago, asking consumers to post pictures with the labels of their clothes showing and asking the brand #whomademyclothes? This is meant to raise awareness and actually demand that brands show transparency in their supply chain. If we ask these questions in masses, they will have to answer and if they want to look good, they will have to change their ways. Unless they are already doing so. You might think that brands won't respond, but a quick research into last year's responses shows that brands such as Zara, Ted Baker, Levi's, Whistles and M&S all responded to the question on their social media channels.
[This was Gap's responses by the way:"this is proprietorial information which we don’t wish to disclose" oooops, that's suspicious...]
This year I want to ask Everlane who made my clothes and at the same time give them a shoutout for being one of the most transparent brands I have come across. I have written about them before (here and here), as they are pioneers of the transparency movement in fashion - when you click on an item on their website you can quickly track the costing of each step of the supply chain, how much it cost them to produce the item and how much they're selling it for as well as what traditional retail would sell it for. See below for an example of my Cocoon Coat.
Another amazing feature is that you can click on the factory that actually made your clothes and learn a little more about them, mine for example was made in a factory in Suzhou, China and you can get to know it here.
So if there is anyone that can answer questions on #whomademyclothes? and set a brilliant example for the rest of the industry it is Everlane. Let's see if they respond to my questions that I can't find answers to on their website! I want to know, what the names of the workers that made my coat are, how are their living conditions, are women's rights being respected, do they have health insurance, paid maternity leave and do they know how much we love and appreciate what they do?
brand values (see index here)
explore how I have previously worn some of the items in this post
Rules for being a Parisienne (they are unconsciously conscious):
* be the girl that doesn't own a diamond with the same worth of a house in the hills, but the girl that causally mentions Foucault and Friedan in a conversation about fries - it's about intellectual worth.
* have dates during the day (darkness hides the truth) and wear an oversized sweater that may or may not (with the help of a cute shrug) fall off your shoulder. No need to invest in itty bitty dresses - you'll attracted the wrong kinda guy
* wear no makeup to a party on Saturday and only red lipstick to the baker on sunday morning - wear the same head to toe navy outfit to both
* only boring people are bored - but in case you do get bored wear perfume and lipstick, buy a paper, go to a caffe and sit there pretending to read it (that can be done later) whilst you watch people and imagine their stories.
* wear blue with black, heck blue and brown
* forget Logos, unless you are André Leon Talley - he can.
* don't follow trends, let them follow you. Like a stray dog you had no idea was following you all the way back home and you decide to coexist but not adopt because you have to be independent yet don't have the heart to ignore it.
* when in doubt wear a white or striped shirt, denims, red nails and gold jewellery
* less is more unless we're talking about emotions, although I guess in that case more is simply more as long as it's not too much (you with me?)
* more skincare, less makeup - no one likes to wake up next to a completely different person the next morning (am I right boys) also, this is a great way to learn to love who you are instead of spending your life (and paycheques) covering it up. can that ever lead to happiness?
* dress up for the farmers market, dress down for evening drinks. If they act rude because you don't look like you can even afford a gin & tonic (or whatever fancy name they chose for it) just leave that place to the Made In Chelsea/KUWTK people(I googled the shortcut because the thought of spelling out their last name and then some is excruciating). Very important, smile while walking out - they'll always wonder.
* the signature item. a love story. I almost don't want to add another word or we'll loose the romantic notion, but I guess for clarification we have to. This item can be anything, but is usually a bag, a pair of shoes, a piece of jewellery or a jacket. Don't mistake this for a luxury item. It's about originality and emotionality - it's the one item you feel best in. It is often an investment piece you gifted yourself, but if you've noticed it always comes with some kind of story. It's a personal affair. a unique love story.
* be naked. a lot. at home though please. it's sustainable, it's fun, it gives you freedom and makes you confident. Once you stop cringing at the sight of yourself in the mirror completely naked you know you've made it. Tackle it like fear: repeat until over it.
Any more you'd like to add? Bisous.
This is one of my favourite shoots I've done so far, because the images were shot at a lighthouse in one of my favourite places on earth. I thought about posting this more towards summer, but I guess this can count as a sort of #tb (throwback), or it can count for the southern hemisphere. Although thinking about it maybe I'm posting this out of a deep desire for being in this exact place with this exact state of mind.
Why do we tell, listen and watch stories other than to indulge in escapism? Whether that keeps us sane or insane is up for debate.
Lately the lyrics of Gregory Alan Isakov's song This Empty Northern Hemisphere are stuck in my head and now I know why, so listen to the song while you read this post
'Night comes fixing on the day
And the universe reigned again
While the wheels roll, it all glows a flickering light'
Personally I'm someone that gets lost way to much in my imagination, to the point that I have full on conversations with my ideal dinner party guests dead or alive for hours at a time. No wonder I'm always tired, fake dinner parties might just be more exhausting than real ones!
As much as it's beautiful and fun coming back to reality can often hit you very very hard. But we can deal with that later, let's procrastinate a moment longer and step into the state of eternal summer. Go to the place in your mind where you are left alone with your thoughts, where all of your worries, all of your problems, all of your fears just seam so insignificant. That feeling is truly what keeps me going, which lifts a heavy veil from my heart and regenerates it for the challenges that are to come.
Just a few moments longer...
The Sustainable Factor: In Italy there is places where you can buy leftover designer fabric so my mom bought some really beautiful one from Missoni from which she had a beautiful jumpsuit made and from the leftover fabric from that I commissioned two chokers for me an my sister - talk about no waist! The great thing about this is that it's about personal style, you create something that is uniquely yours and will therefore always be 'in trend'