Revelations that Inspire Revolutions
By: Lauren Humphries
The tribulations of the past year have prompted growing numbers of people all over the world to reassess what is meaningful in our lives. In many regards, it’s forced us to pause and to see things from new and different perspectives. And it’s promoted awareness and dialogue around important topics such as social justice, climate change, and how we are all inextricably linked.
As U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo says, »Collectively and worldwide, I don’t think we’ve ever had anything like that in our generation. One side of it is that we needed to stop collectively and to think about who we are, where we were, our relationship to the planet and to each other. And so I think that part of it was useful.«
We’ve been given the chance to prioritize what matters most to us, either out of necessity because our time has become so scarce that we’re stretched almost to our breaking points, or because our time has become so fluid and unstructured that it almost feels meaningless. In the same way that the clothes we’ve chosen to wear each day during the pandemic have lost their structure in favor of comfort and convenience, for many of us so has time.
While parts of our lives have been put on pause during the pandemic, we’ve been given an opportunity to reflect on and imagine the changes we’d like to see in the world and to think about how we can positively contribute to and drive these changes.
»Collectively and worldwide, I don’t think we’ve ever had anything like that in our generation. One side of it is that we needed to stop collectively and to think about who we are, where we were, our relationship to the planet and to each other. And so I think that part of it was useful.«
This consciousness, whether new or heightened, is especially relevant during Earth Month and Fashion Revolution Week. As more and more people get vaccinated and the world slowly opens up, for most of us, we know that we don’t want to return to the world exactly as it was. Spring is a season of rebirth, renewal, and growth. As we cultivate hope for a better and brighter future, we can envision the actions large and small that we can take individually and collectively to make that vision a reality. That is how revolutions begin.
At AUF AUGENHOEHE, when we talk about being ambassadors for a new fashion industry, our vision is inclusive, accessible, and sustainable. We place a strong emphasis not only on the high quality of the make and material in our garments, but also in creating pieces that fit perfectly. Our clothing is made to last so that our customers and community can curate a sustainable, eco-conscious wardrobe that was designed with them in mind.
Sustainable fashion takes into account the entire supply chain and lifecycle of garments, an often-overlooked aspect of fashion. The major stages in the lifecycle of a garment are material, production, shipping, use, and disposal. Fast fashion is harmful to the planet because it produces high volumes of pollution and waste. Consumers are buying more clothing and discarding it more quickly. But it’s important to consider where all of this clothing ends up. Tragically, in most cases, it ends up in a landfill.
When we buy clothing, we need to be thinking about this lifecycle and how our purchases affect the environment. Not only that, but we need to think about how our purchases impact the lives of the people who make our clothing. April 19-25 marks Fashion Revolution Week, a time when we are all encouraged to »come together as a global community to create a better fashion industry.« Fashion Revolution, the organization behind Fashion Revolution Week, founded the movement in the wake of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh in 2013. In that tragic event, over 1,000 garment workers were killed and thousands more were injured. Even though structural cracks had been discovered in the building, workers were still called to come in to finish orders. The fact that the tragic loss of life was preventable only makes this disaster even more heartbreaking.
The vision of Fashion Revolution is »a global fashion industry that conserves and restores the environment and values people over growth and profit.« This focus on putting people and the planet first encourages people to live more sustainably and conscientiously. The messaging of the Fashion Revolution Week campaign empowers people »to harness the creativity of our community to explore innovative and interconnected solutions.« The scale of solving the fashion industry’s sustainability problems may seem overwhelming, but each of us can take small actions individually which add up to make an impact.
But it’s important to consider where all of this clothing ends up. Tragically, in most cases, it ends up in a landfill.
By asking the questions #WhatsInMyClothes and #WhoMadeMyClothes, we can pressure fashion brands to be more transparent. Then we can make informed decisions and support designers and brands that are prioritizing the rights of people and the health of the planet.
Building a wardrobe that is sustainable, ethical, and stylish is possible. It takes effort and intention. By buying well-made versatile pieces that can be styled multiple ways, we can still use clothing to express our individuality and to make a bold statement about social and environmental responsibility.