Last week, Gyals Network brought awareness to the impact of cheap fashion by hosting It’s a Fashion Revolution: a screening of The True Cost movie followed by a panel discussion on the importance of connecting the dots between fashion, consumerism, capitalism and structural poverty and oppression. This event was part of our Gyals of Impact initiative where we develop programs to bring awareness and change to issues impacting our communities. In the following we will summarize what we learned during this event and how we can all play a part in making change.
Our amazing guest panel included:
- Shamini Dhana, CEO of Dhana
- Kyra, Co-founder of Vermeulen & Co.
- Penelope Adibe, Founder of Nneka by Penelope
First, let’s talk about what we learned:
We learned that 97% of items are now made overseas by roughly 40 million garment workers; many of whom do not share the same rights or protections that many people in the West do. We witnessed footage of workers who had been beaten unconscious because they asked for a living wage. We saw the proceedings of a funeral being held for a Cambodian worker who was killed just for asking for a livable wage.
We learned that fashion is the 2nd highest pollutant in the word and has been linked to cancer, birth defects and other serious diseases. During the screening of The True Cost movie, one of the most painful scenes was of a community where many of the residents had been born with an alarming skin condition due to the contamination of their water supply from a leather manufacturer. We saw communities where many children were born with severe disabilities that prevented them from ever taking their first steps.
What can we do?
After watching The True Cost movie, we were left asking ourselves “what can we do as the consumer to make change?” Although we know we don’t have all the answers (sorry Kanye), we've gathered the following with some help from our amazing panel.
1. Share and reference this quick guide courtesy of Dhana
2. Buy from brands that focus on sustainable and fair trade fashion (See links below)
3. Buy high quality garments that will last longer #qualitynotquantity
4. Buy used clothes to reduce landfill
5. Continue the conversation on sustainable and fair trade fashion and spread awareness on this issue
Join the DhanaWORLD2016 campaign!
Dhana will be hosting an opportunity for you to share your thoughts on this issue with the goal of communicating your values from the consumer’s perspective to brands. Opt into the #DhanaWORLD2016 campaign today to share your thoughts. Provide your email using this link and you will be contacted in a separate cover. Check out their video from last year here: