Last night was our event for Fashion Revolution Week. Guests attended a screening of the documentary film The True Cost followed by a panel discussion featuring Andrea Plell of Ecologique Fashion, Daniela Degrassi of Annaborgia, Luke Swanson of The Tripty Project, Marissa Goodman Thierot of Tempest + Bentley, and myself, representing Belvele.
As guests began to arrive, we asked a few of them to pose for the #whomademyclothes campaign. This is a way for consumers to encourage fashion brands to be more transparent about the origin of their products. After watching the film and discussing the serious issues brought to the surface, attendees realized that we can all help demand progress in the fashion industry by asking questions and shopping more consciously.
After our moderator, Jack Danger Canty, introduced the members of our panel, we all watched the film together. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the hidden social and environmental costs of fashion. The crowd was clearly moved by the film and shocked by the suffering, deaths, and environmental damage caused by clothing production. (If you have not seen the film, it is available on Netflix. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!)
Jack kicked off the discussion by asking Luke Swanson, founder of the Tripty Project, to share his experiences living in Bangladesh, and seeing first-hand the effects of the garment factories. Right away, the crowd became involved, describing how deeply this film affected them, and asking panelists about shifts in the industry, the influence of trend setters, and what each of them can do to make a difference. It was truly beautiful to see this spark of curiosity light up in each of their faces. Through this film, guests felt the pain that we normally never see when we purchase a $5 T-Shirt.
When you set your goal to change an industry for the better, you come across a lot of ups and downs. It's easy to feel helpless, being just one person trying to make a difference on a $3 Trillion industry. The majority of the public is unaware of the reasons behind the Slow Fashion Movement, and all they see is a higher price tag. But moments like these, when I meet inspiring, hard-working individuals who are just as passionate about creating change, moments when someone tells me they want to become a more conscious shopper, my drive is refueled. We are all just one person, but our voice can reach thousands, millions. We have the power to not buy something, if it doesn't fit our ethical standards. All of the giant corporations who are profiting from the suffering of others depend on our hard-earned dollars. As soon as we demand transparency, they will have to listen.
So thanks to everyone who attended and participated in last night's event. Thanks to the few who are already producing beautiful fashion the right way. And thank YOU for reading this, for following our journey, and for hopefully being another seed for change.