growing a minimalist wardrobe: fashion revolution day.

April 23, 2015

growing a minimalist wardrobe: fashion revolution day | reading my tea leavesYesterday, technically, was Earth Day. Tomorrow, technically, is Fashion Revolution Day. Today might very well be National Sparkly Shoe Day. It seems there are no shortage of days to commemorate something or other lately. But while some seem trite and others feel gimmicky, I’m not sure I can honestly find much to fault. For even the most proactive among us, a yearly rallying cry for earthly stewardship rejuvenates. And sometimes we need a little call to action to remind us of our values and reevaluate our habits.

On April 24, 2013, 1134 people were killed when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The majority of them were women making clothes destined for shops where many of us have purchased goods. An urgency to produce goods cheaply and a disregard for the human beings making those goods led to the tragedy. We can do better. First, we need a fashion revolution.

On Tuesday evening I had the chance to attend a panel discussion hosted by Zady at FIT. Eileen Fisher, Paul van Zyl of Maiyet, and Linda Greer of the NRDC all spoke on the subject of sustainability, corporate responsibility, and ethical fashion alongside Zady co-founders Maxine Bédat and Soraya Darabi. The evening was a stark reminder of how far we have to go and a celebration of moving in the right direction.
growing a minimalist wardrobe: fashion revolution day | reading my tea leaves In case any of your guys are feeling moved to participate, the goal of Fashion Revolution Day is to raise awareness about who makes your clothes. Here’s what you can do:

-Take a selfie showing your clothing label (turn your clothes inside out if you need to)
-Tag the brand who made it
-Post the hashtag #whomademyclothes

As far as I’m concerned the post can be a question posed because the answer is obscured or a question posed where the answer is knowable—a celebration of a job well-done. To the event on Tuesday I proudly wore a dress made in Minneapolis by Hackwith Design House (my jeans above were made in California by J. Brand). If you’re interested in learning more or participating yourself, here’s a schedule of related events.

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  • Reply Jen April 23, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    This is such a great idea. Thanks for making me aware of it.

  • Reply Nicole Yerkes April 23, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    Have you gotten to watch the documentary "The Next Black"? It's about a year old (and on youtube!), and while it touches on ethical issues, it mostly highlights what sustainability could look like for fashion. Totally opened my eyes!

  • Reply Mary Beth April 23, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    Hey! I happen to be wearing my J. Brand jeans today. What timing!

  • Reply Anonymous April 23, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Don't forget tomorrow is Arbor Day too!!

  • Reply Mary April 24, 2015 at 1:12 am

    Fascinating! I just ordered my first Stowaway kit, so my face will soon be sporting a brand I can be proud of! Thanks for being such a great source for brands I can be proud to support!

  • Reply Archana April 24, 2015 at 4:17 am

    While there are all these dedicated days, i really do think they help. Even if a dozen people made a few resolutions, the wheel turns a little. Erin, I watched your podcast a while ago. And you talked about how hard it is to grow your wardrobe because you have all these criteria that your clothes need to check. While that may sound like a harmless sentence, it had a profound impact on me. I was struggling to minimize my consumption and this was my solution. Once i had all these filters, there is hardly anything i want. Or is even available. I am doing my share to raise awareness tomoro.

    Thanks Erin.

  • Reply Nina April 24, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    I'm also not a fan of these days for everything but agree that this one's important. "[T]o remind us of our values and reevaluate our habits" – yes. I make a lot of my own clothes these days so I'm asking who made my fabric .

    • Reply mado April 25, 2015 at 2:55 am

      as a fellow sewist, this is something I struggle with at times… when I lived in Chicago I could often find great fabric at thrift stores, but right now that's not really possible. It's hard finding natural fibers where I live now, let alone organic or anything else.

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