While my tooth has been drilled with a dreading sound of shrill at the dentist this morning, sitting there in great discomfort, I was thinking about the terrible suffering fast-fashion victims go through around the world, including the Rana Plaza disaster victims of course…
Too many great articles have been written on why fashion is in dire need of a revolution, but just to mention one powerful piece from the New Statesman which I read yesterday; the graphic descriptions on how factory workers inhaling hazardous substances like cotton carding fluff and sandblasting dust, threw me back to my freelance shoe designing era and the shock of being hit by toxic fumes inside many shoe factories I visited. This was the main reason why I started Po-Zu; I couldn’t stand the guilt of contributing (not even indirectly) to such cruel practices, which I knew were avoidable.
We didn’t get a chance to be as active as last year’s Fashion Revolution Day, (shamefully acting as an armchair activist today) but hard to ignore this awesome force for good…
Check out this brilliant Social Experiment from Fashion Revolution Germany; would you buy a €2 T-shirt after watching the factory conditions it was made under?
And here is the freshly released trailer of a film we have proudly supported on Kickstarter; the The True Cost is a documentary about the devastating impact of fashion on people and the planet.
We must ask ourselves and the brands we buy from - who made my clothes, and who made my shoes? Are those workers happy with their job? Have they been treated with care and respect? Have they been provided with safe working conditions? Are they paid fairly?
Chances are sadly slim; according to Tansy Hoskins (the author of Stitched Up), ethical fashion brands represent less than 1% of the market.
On this second anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster we are reminded how desperately we need to revolutionise the fashion industry by turning it inside-out and joining the Fashion Revolution! Each one of us can make a difference as consumers by shifting our shopping habits into lower gear; buy less and buy ethical.
Just in case you ever bought a pair of our shoes, we thought you might like to meet our genuinely happy master shoemakers, which we consider part of our extended family and without whom we’ll be soleless.
All our shoes are made in a small factory near to the historic town of Guimaraes in Portugal. A country (which we're proud to say) derives over 70% of its energy from renewable sources, the highest in Europe! They employ 70 local workers and are committed to the highest standards of ethical manufacturing. The factory has a strict non-toxic policy and they recycle nearly all their waste products, including fabric off-cuts and water.
I hope there is some food for thought here, and a reason to act, not necessarily while sitting uncomfortably at the dentist, but perhaps more appropriately while standing comfortably in Po-Zu.
May good soles be with you!