In the last two decades, the fashion world has evolved to become more inclusive. But this growth comes with its own share of challenges.
In order to keep clothes affordable, many of the top fashion brands began to combine natural fibres with man-made non-biodegradable fibres. They outsourced manufacturing to countries with cheaper labour and lax regulations. The result? The new clothes were uncomfortable to wear for long stretches of the day and usually triggered allergies. They started to fade after a few washes and lose their freshness.
The Bangladesh tragedy of 2013 was a wake-up call to many in the fashion industry. A building that served as a production facility for a well-known fashion brand collapsed, killing over 1,000 people and injuring many more. This tragedy exposed the other side of glamour. People realised that majority of the garment workers lived in abject poverty, unable to afford even the basic necessities. The working conditions were unsafe and unhygienic. Many were exploited, and abused verbally and physically.
People across the world began to campaign for transparency and change in the fashion industry. Fashion Revolution started urging more people to become more selective while buying clothes. The movement made a strong case for sustainable and ethical fashion that was also considerate of its impact on the environment.
In 2015, the hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes became the number one trend on Twitter. Millions of people from across the globe participated in the online movement to make fashion a more transparent phenomenon. That was just the beginning. This year, thousands of Fashion Revolution events were held around the world, ranging from film screenings, panel discussions and creative workshops to catwalks and clothes swaps.
GoNative hosted numerous events throughout the week. We initiated conversations around sustainable clothes and eco-friendly accessories. We proudly flaunted handcrafted items made from banana fibre (which was considered an agricultural waste), cork, water hyacinth and rubber. In other words, we gave our shoppers plenty of alternatives to consider. And it worked! Many of our customers are now more conscious shoppers, keen on knowing more about the product before they swipe the card. And that’s how we change the world — one choice at a time.