Last year, on April 24th, the Rana Plaza factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed killing 1,133 people and injuring over 2,500. If the factory managers and large corporations had followed adequate safety procedures this would not have happened. This was a preventable tragedy! And this is not the only story of deaths in the garment industry. Social and environmental catastrophes in international fashion supply chains thrive.
The silver lining is that certain individuals, organizations and companies are using the catastrophe as a stepping-stone for positive change. Fashion Revolution Day, April 24th, is the milestone of the one year anniversary, and the goal of this day is to challenge consumers across the world to wear their clothes #insideout, to look at their labels and to be a conscious consumer.
How can you be a conscious consumer? It’s simple- I have listed 7 easy actions you can take.
1. Read labels: Chances are very high that if the label says, “Made in China” it was not made ethically. Before you make a purchase, read the company’s website and social media pages. Do they support fair wages, safe working conditions and environmental sustainability? If they don’t talk about their ethical practices, they probably don’t have anything to be proud of.
If the products are made in the United States or fair trade then chances are very high that the producers are receiving a fair wage with safe working conditions.
This handy website: http://www.free2work.org/ rates the social and environmental impact of many major brands. Be careful though some companies may have an “A” rating, but if you look closely at their scorecard, they don’t pay fair wages.
2. Say no to Walmart: I know that it is very hard to live a life 100% dedicated to fair trade or made in the USA products, because there is not yet enough availability of these products, but there are certain stores that should be avoided, and Walmart is among the worst on my list.
3. Buy fair trade: That is an easy one, since Passion Lilie offers several great affordable, comfortable and classic apparel items. Check out our Pinterest board to learn about some of our favorite fair trade friends.
4. Buy locally made. Fair trade is wonderful, but it is also important to support your neighbor and your local community. We also have a Pinterest board for locally made New Orleans products!
5. Say no to fast fashion. Buy less, and invest more in well-made items. Fast fashion creates a huge amount of textile wastage, because garments are tossed out and trashed before they have lived their proper life cycle.
6. Recycle: Shop at thrift stores, consignment stores and re-purpose old items when you can. It’s the age of DIY, so there is no excuse if you don’t think you are creative enough, just Google it!
Sip on cocktails and treats while browsing our lovely spring collection of fair trade items. Not only are you supporting local businesses, ethical fashion, AND #FashionRevolutionDay, you may also walk away with that perfect outfit – just in time for Jazz Fest! With our chic Nola festival-goer in mind, all our of pieces feature deep pockets – perfect for keeping the essentials (phone, wallet, etc.) safe, leaving you free to just groove the day away.
Located at 2702 Chartres St (around the corner from Sound Café), Hazel and Florange is a celebration of southern charm, inspired by chic, unique, locally made clothing.
Other great resources: