Fashion Revolution Week runs in the last week of April and implores all of us to ask our favourite brands - who made my clothes? Many high street stores, with their complex supply chains, still do not know which factory their clothing is manufactured in.
The campaign began in 2013 in response to the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh which killed 1138 people. It was the single biggest industrial disaster, within the garment industry, of our generation. The factory, at the time, was manufacturing for some of the biggest and most well known names on the high street including Benetton, Mango, Matalan and Primark. These are all brands we’ve heard of and places we’ve shopped at.
Aside from the working conditions one of the other major problems with the culture of fast fashion is the disposable nature of clothing. In 2017 the UK was predicted to send 235 million items of unwanted clothing to landfill. We keep our clothes for an average of just 2 years before they are discarded and the average lifespan of a high street garment is just 7 wears.
Fashion Revolution highlights the fact that #lovedclotheslast. Think before you buy something and cherish it. I keep my clothes forever and here I’m going to share the stories of some of my fave garms….
I bought this from Primark 12 years ago for £3. It was on the floor under the sale rail. I spotted it out of the corner of my eye and swooped in like a hawk. I knew in my heart that flared bottoms would come back around and that when they did nobody else would be wearing anything like this.
Enchanted Rebels Annie Top
One of the first pieces from our first collection I will cherish this forever. I love the print and I love how it looks equally fab with a maxi skirt as it does with jeans. I always seem to wear this to brunch on a Sunday; it has certainly surpassed the 30 wears challenge that’s for sure.
This is 90s vintage Moschino Cheap n Chic. I bought it on eBay in 2005 for £50 and I didn’t wear it for 4 years when I first got it, I actually nearly got rid of it on several occasions. I recently saw one on an online vintage store advertised at $400 but I’d never sell it. It’s going to be a family heirloom. I’ve worn this so many times over the last 9 years including one outing in Spitalfields market when I got style spotted by Vogue Online which was actually quite unfortunate because I was rough as a badger’s bottom after a wild night in Soho. I actually think I love this waistcoat more than some of my family members (sorry fam).
Vivienne Westwood Dress
5 years ago I went to a Vivienne Westwood sample sale in Mayfair and spotted this absolute gem. It was tagged at an eye watering £1200 what with being 100% silk and Made in Italy but I managed to snaffle it for £100. It’s definitely an eye catching statement piece and people have, more than once, asked me if I’m on the way to Hogwarts. Obviously I was absolutely thrilled that I’m cavorting around looking like a wizard.
80s Party Dress
If this dress could talk it would definitely have a few tales to tell. It’s just celebrated its 36th birthday. My Mum used to party in this dress in her heyday at the Illawalla nightclub in Blackpool and when I was about 5 it made its way into my dressing up box. I’d pop it on and my Mum and I would dance around the kitchen to the sounds of the Jackson 5 and Fleetwood Mac. As I grew older it was always just lying around and I’ve worn it intermittently ever since it would fit me properly. Most recently I wore it to a midnight pool party in Taiwan and it’s been raving in East London on several occasions. It’s needed a stitch or two here and there over the years but it’s definitely still going strong.
Enchanted Rebels Kimono Jacket
This is the sample of the Enchanted Rebels kimono jacket. It’s still only 2 years old but of course I will keep this forever, it’s one of the first things we had made. I love the fact I can wear it to meetings or wear it on the beach. It’s definitely been worn well over 30 times.