“Be the change”
Rana Plaza’s story went viral and sent the fashion industry into a flux. Activists reacted, brands grew more concerned with their social image and the consumer slowly became aware of the current day slavery held within outsourced garment factories in developing nations. But in the three years since Rana Plaza, we find ourselves asking, what has truly changed?
Some change has occurred, yet we still need further progression for complete ethical revival.
You. Yes you, can be a changemaker. Ultimately, the consumer has extensive purchasing power that can influence the fashion market and many of its customs. Brands and companies depend on consumers to keep their businesses lucrative and sustained. That means that our collaborative purchases, voices and decisions are what truly make the change. If we demand ethical production, brands will adjust to ensure their consumer is loyal to their brand and continues to purchase their products. We should act like Shivam and the Behno team, not necessarily waiting for others to make the universal industry change, but instead adjusting our purchases and patterns of consumption to reflect our ethical values.
Let’s build a world where our clothes don’t have a tragic history behind them. Although there is much progress to be made, we can celebrate the progress we are already making. Supporting designers who not only make unbelievably gorgeous attire but also choose to produce differently is a simple way to make the right steps towards ridding unfair labor practices. We are so beyond them.
As we see designers taking the respectful effort to make changes in the way they design, produce and manufacture, we, as consumers, too have the choice to make a change. Each decision behind a purchase can go towards our imagined future—one where people can go to work with peace and ease of mind.
We can change fashion for the better, bringing beauty back to the foundation of the creative process. We can allow our self-identity via attire no longer be burdened by a complicated backstory of pain and suffering, but instead with a story of support and genuine humanity. Because, certainly, we can do much better than this.