Natalia Marsellés is a 23-year old Master’s student in Sustainable Business and Innovation in Barcelona, Spain, and a member of the social media team of WEAll Youth.
Have you ever thought about where your clothes come from? Who made them? What is the real cost of your wardrobe, not only economically speaking but its social and environmental impact?
Fashion Revolution Week is a time when we come together as a global community to think about the fashion industry practices and raise awareness to demand a better fashion industry.
In 2013 we saw one of the worst industrial disasters in history following the collapse of the Rana Plaza Building in Bangladesh. Sadly, more than 1100 people died and another 2500 were injured. This is when Fashion Revolution was born, quickly becoming the largest fashion activism movement in the world. Fashion Revolution envisions a global fashion industry that conserves and restores the environment and values people over growth and profit.
During the Fashion Revolution Week, a clear and decisive message is launched, with hashtags that have now become a symbol of revindication and the confrontation against fast fashion: #WhoMadeMyClothes #WhoMadeYourClothes
This year’s Fashion Revolution Week theme “Rights, Relationships, and Revolution” promotes the connection between human rights and the natural world. The campaign aims to amplify unheard voices within the fashion industry while exploring innovative solutions to promote sustainability.
To delve into the meaning of Fashion Revolution week and learn more about sustainable fashion, I sat down with Dr. Federica Massa Saluzzo. Dr Saluzzo holds a Ph.D. in Strategic Management from IESE Business School, a post-doc from the University of Bologna, and teaches strategic management at EADA Business School.
Her research interests include social value creation, sustainable fashion, and social innovation, and shared with WEALL Youth her thoughts on the fashion industry.
1. What does fashion mean to you?
For me, it is a way to express your authentic identity, your culture, and your values. Just like your language or the design of your home, for me, fashion is a language that speaks up for you and who you are.
2. What are your views on fast fashion?
Ah! I am not fast in general! see the benefits of enabling a large number of people to access “some” kind of fashion, but since for me fashion is a means to communicate your culture and authenticity, nothing fast can convey culture and authenticity effectively. Fast fashion may provide the illusion of being fashionable but it does not truly sell fashion. What is sold through fast fashion is something else: it does not sell authenticity, because a lot of the trends are copied from smaller brands, it does not sell quality, because anyone who does not pay a decent salary to any of the actors of the supply chain cannot speak of high quality, and it does not sell uniqueness, because no matter how quick you are, there are thousands of copies of the same garments.
3. What does sustainability mean for you?
If I avoid citing all the literature defining sustainability and only speak my mind, sustainability means caring. Caring for the people whose work makes my life so easy, and caring for the planet that offers us everything a human being needs.
4. Is fast fashion sustainable? Can it be sustainable?
5. What is the future of fast fashion? In spite of the growing demand for eco-friendly clothing, most consumers don’t want to pay more for it. So, what’s the solution?
I work in education, so I believe that education is the way. Through the Asociacion Moda Sostenible Barcelona, a great effort in educating the Spanish market is in place. They have organized the MODS (Moda + Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible (ODS)), short and cheap podcasts for whoever feels they can make a change through sustainable fashion, they also have a sustainability dictionary initiative in their social networks, where they explain the real meaning of some of the key buzzwords in sustainable fashion, and they constantly strive to sum efforts to make sustainable fashion relevant.
6. What can we, as consumers, do to change this trend?
Reuse, recycle, reduce, restyle. When you are about to buy something ask “where does it come from? Where will it go?” And then decide, maybe you can look for something more sustainable, maybe you don’t need to buy, maybe you can learn to stitch or maybe you can just add a unique detail to something you already own…and make it truly yours.
This week, WEAll Youth joins the Fashion Revolution movement by sharing our members’ thoughts on fast fashion and the transition towards a more ethical and sustainable garment industry for all of us.
What do you think about fast fashion? Share your ideas with us and join the revolution!
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