According to estimates, it takes around 1,800 gallons of water to grow enough cotton to produce just one pair of blue jeans. The 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh killed 1,129 people. The fashion industry is reportedly the second-largest polluter in the world (just behind oil). Fast fashion: you know the damaging impact both on the environment and on the people making your clothes, but it can be hard to know where to begin making a significant change to the industry. It’s sort of like going vegan but feeling pretty hopeless about the impact when everyone else is still eating meat and dairy.
The journey towards conscious buying can often feel like a dance of two steps forward, one step back. Is shopping in the sustainable section of a high street store at all impactful? Is buying less and better quality the answer? Do I need to avoid shopping completely? However, every small action does make a difference. There are countless ways you can challenge yourself to make conscious choices, leading to a more ethical and responsible fashion industry.
One such campaign helping to make these decisions clearer is Fashion Revolution. A not-for-profit global mission, it raises awareness around the true cost of fashion through an annual April 24th campaign. We asked Sarah Ditty, head of policy at Fashion Revolution, to give us a beginner's guide to making a real difference in the fashion you consume.