About a week ago, I caught the trailer of the up and coming documentary River Blue following a conservationist who infiltrates one of the world’s most pollutive industries examining the destruction of our rivers and its effect on humanity. It was enough to send me to a dark corner rocking fetal position consoling in happy thoughts like kittens and mittens. (Vegan mittens, ain’t no time for wool)
In the snippet of information revealed in the teaser, I grasped the core message that is -through harsh chemical manufacturing processes and the irresponsible disposal of toxic chemical waste we are destroying rivers, wild life and impacting people by the mamouth industry that would be -The Fashion sector.
And just like the night of Cowspiracy (ground breaking fyi) the walls close in, as I’m suspended in realisation of my fast fashion addiction and ultimately a hand in such immoral practices. Doh. And I need to talk about it the way Kylie needs to create chem trail awareness. And when Khloe released her good American denim line, a numbed subconscious brain cell in my wine/kuwtk-reality induced state thought wait a hang on, what’s the suppose these jeans are ethically produced? Like any jean, ethical is out of reach. Do we we need access to sizes for thicc thighs you bet ya! But if we gonna keep adding on the business can we cancel some?
But I digress. The global apparel industry is so successful that it produced 150 billion garments in 2010, enough to provide 20 new articles of clothing for every person on the planet. While I focus on conservation as a vegan, without adding my consumption of fashion to the agenda, it’s hard to imagine much headway for a conscious consumer (moi) could ever be made.
Then there are the criminally low wages paid to those in the countries where apparel manufacturing has gone just to add to the cluster fuck of environmental racism, degradation and general ecoside. The apparel industry is the largest employer of women globally, which is why for me fashion was such a significant Industry to be involved in. Undoubtedly, fashion it seemed was the access to opportunity for women everywhere and anywhere.
But less than 2 percent of women in the fashion business actually earn a living wage.
Our consumption and our behaviour is so robotic we have zero accountability or awareness of our impact. We buy final products ready to cook, ready to wear. We don’t ever have to see the exploitative processes it couldn’t be anymore convenient!
Ignorance, ahhh such bliss. Painfully, I realised that I am easily and unwittingly encouraging the very oppressive systems I openly discourage. That would be the system that rely on us to remain oblivious, an unfortunately easy task in an image-obsessed and superficial culture. If I’m buying clothes from anywhere and only wearing them for a single season, I’m also destroying the planet.