I love the beauty and creativity that comes from fashion and I eagerly await the latest issue of Vogue every month. Most Craftivists in the Craftivist Collective love fashion. We love the fact that we can express ourselves through clothes and feel confident in what wear.
But as a fashion-lover I feel deeply saddened, shocked and angry by the news that over 1,000 people, mostly female garment workers, have been killed in the collapse this summer of a building in Bangladesh which housed factories making clothes for Benetton, Primark, Matalan, Mango and other major brands.
Sadly, often the clothes we buy come at a terrible human cost. Millions of workers around the world suffer poverty wages and exploitation, producing cheap fashion for our shops as they push for a profit driven fast fashion industry.
There is an ugly unethical side of most of the fashion industry we shouldn’t ignore especially because as consumers & global citizens we have a lot of power over the shops that produce the clothes that we wear. As buyers of clothes on the high street, we have the power to put pressure on those brands to change their practices and stop putting profit before wages and welfare.The Bangladesh factory disaster must surely stir us to say that we won’t stand for sweatshops existing in the 21st Century.
Our small, provocative Mini Protest Banners can help us reflect on this issue of sweatshops and what we can do as an individual (consumer, voter etc) and by hanging your banner in public you can engage others in fighting for a world without sweatshops & supporting War on Want’s www.lovefashionhatesweatshops.org campaign.
So come and join us, craft author Perri Lewis, craft bloggers such as Tilly & the Buttons, WI groups such as Manchester WI, Borough Belles & Shoreditch Sisters, craft and craftivist groups around the world (including craftivists in Melbourne, LA, Berlin, Toronto, Glasgow…!) and others to support War on Want this summer in the lead up to & around the time of London Fashion Week and help us create a patchwork of photographs where people have put up their banners somewhere in the world. The patchwork of photographs will be displayed at the Knitting and Stitching Show‘s Upcycling Academy in London in Autumn 2013. We need your photos of your banners in by 1st October please.
It’s wrong to think that we don’t have any power to change this ugly side of fashion. Please join us in celebrating our love of fashion and fighting for an industry without any ugly side, with no sweatshops. Wouldn’t it be brilliant if LFW 2014 was a show of only sweatshop-free clothes? Let’s fight together for that reality one stitch at a time!
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Sarah Corbett founded the Craftivist Collective in 2009 after craft-lovers around the world asked to join in her craftivism (activism through craft) as a way to make positive change and give introverts a voice outside of traditional extrovert forms of activism. Find out how you can be a Craftivist at the Craftivist Collective website.