Recently, I had a rude awakening when I discovered a brand I loved, and which I thought had prided itself on being designed in Australia, made in Australia, had been purchased by another company and consequently dropped the second phrase of that statement.
I was admiring a $279.95 dress from this label, when I caught the tag to read the material and glimpsed a flimsy ‘Made in China’ tag attached to an inner seam. I then started methodically checking the tags of many other pieces in the shop and was nothing less than compelled when I found every single one was made in China, India, or other countries most commonly known for one thing when it comes to clothes: sweatshops.
This is an ever-present and ever-rising issue in today’s society. Investment pieces made from quality fabrics are being pushed aside for the sake of convenience, and with online shopping now a massive part of our culture, it is now incredibly hard to acknowledge, and let’s face it: care, about where our clothes come from. I’m definitely guilty of it, my conscience banging in my head as I buy something that I know was not made to my personal ethical standards, but was just so pretty, and as consequence from the poor making, cheap.
The concept of 'fast fashion' has absolutely rocked the fashion world. No longer are we willing to spend a few hundred dollars on a great pair of black pants to carry us through the season, or an investment coat to use throughout multiple winters. Our generation is one of instant gratification, with cheap, easy, and on-trend garments being sold by the thousands by huge retailers to girls buying a new outfit for every Friday night. We ignore the workers behind the shop assistants, the managers, behind the big, glossy, airbrushed picture that is retail. if you delve deep enough, you will find every lycra cami or pair of denim cut-offs were most likely created by small children in under-privileged countries, working hour by hour just to get by.
It is no easy feat to overcome the issue of sweatshops, as mainly all clothes in commercial shops within todays society use them. The only way to solve this problem, slowly but surely, is to educate yourself and others on the real price you are paying for these clothes. Ask yourself, is it really worth it? Show restraint, hold back from purchasing based only on appearance, and invest in pieces that you know and trust have been made ethically acceptable.
Interested? Watch these films!
The True Cost (2015)
Deadly Fashion (2014)
Sweatshop - Dead Cheap Fashion (2014)
Chasing Beauty (2013)