Who Made Your Clothes?


Do you know who designed them, packaged them, sewed them, created the fabric or even picked the cotton for the fabric?

I don’t.

I do know they all came from pre-loved sources, were bought with glee and worn happily in the knowledge that they take me out of the first-hand consumer loop.

24th April 2014 will mark the one year anniversary of the Savar building collapse in Bangladesh. With 1,129 people killed and over 2,500 people injured this building collapse was the deadliest garment-factory accident in history.

Whenever I reflect on this disaster and the ongoing ripple effect it has created for the people touched by it I tend to tell myself that I wasn’t part of it – that because I shop second-hand I wasn’t part of a consumer demand that creates a need for low-cost, high-turnover fashion.

However, it did inspire me to do a quick review of the tops I had hanging in my wardrobe, t-shirts, shirts, blouses, the usual garb and noted that nineteen of the tops were made in China, two were made in India and three had lost their tags.

It wasn’t a shock that most were made in China, the shock was that I owned twenty-four tops!

How the hell did I end up with twenty-four tops??!

I may have taken myself out of the first-hand consumer loop but I’m wondering if perhaps my demand hasn’t changed, that by still thinking it’s okay to own so many clothes perhaps I am still part of the problem of over-consumption which in turn creates industries that have become unsustainable and unethical.

What is a girl with twenty-four tops to do?

Step One:
Take part in Fashion Revolution Day this Thursday by wearing an item of clothing inside out to promote awareness of where our clothes come from and the reasons why we should know where they come from.

Step Two:
Have one hell of a de-clutter. I’m going to look critically at my wardrobe and pick pieces that are long-lasting and can work well with other items.

Step Three:
Once I have my wardrobe sorted it’s time to start de-cluttering the kids clothes as part of my 2014 sustainable goals.

Have you looked in your wardrobe lately? How many items do you own? Do you know where they came from?

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