Claire here! So - it's our first year as Canada's country coordinator for the global Fashion Revolution movement, and man, are we pumped. Also nervous. But mostly excited. *wipes sweat from brow* *discreetly sniffs pits*
Since our first #whomademyclothes #insideout post, shot from my Shanghai desk in FashRev's inaugural year, we've seen this campaign grow from a few hundred participants to literally millions. A sustainable fashion movement focused on people, not place? A chance for consumers not only to ask about the individuals behind their clothes, but a way for brands and workers to answer with dignity and transparency? Yes. Please. All day.
Thanks, Itee from eco brand and co-work neighbour FINCH Designs, for lending her bum to our first Fashion Revolution post back in 2014.
Back in Canada, where I've been based for over three years now, ethically-focused brands have been sprouting in communities from Nanaimo, British Columbia to Truro, Nova Scotia. Here in Edmonton, apparel businesses big and small, glam and grassroots, have been putting social and environmental sustainability at the forefront of their operations at a rate I don't think anyone expected of a city whose name doesn't end with "ouver" or "onto."
Yes, Toronto, we know you're cool. (JK, Fashion Takes Action, love you guys.)
What's been missing is a common thread to tie - okay, stitch - these widely-dispersed communities together. Fashion Revolution's taken off in its homeland, the U.K., and is flourishing in the States, Spain, Italy, and dozens of other countries around the world; last year, thousands of international brands like Zara, Gildan, Fat Face, Marks and Spencer, and Marimekko participated. But Fashion Revolution is still pretty new to Canada - and the towns and cities that have embraced it have done so largely independently of each other.
This is where we thought we could, at Unbelts, really help. We've assembled a kick-bum team of staff and volunteers hell-bent on growing our now-annual event, Change of Clothes, and a host of other local FashRev activities. We've got handsome radio announcers willing to give us airtime:
And, overall, Edmonton's a great place to make change happen: we're hard workers, made patient and tough by vast, icy hellscapes and seven-month winters.
Edmonton in June. Just kidding. This was May.
We're fine with being a little uncool if it means living where we can afford to chase our dreams. We're optimists, and in our fashion community, we dream of more citizens, brands, educators, and other industry pros joining this slow but steady march towards a system that pays humans more, costs the environment less, and helps us all feel the power of the clothes we live in.
This is a year of consolidation. At the heart of Unbelts is a spirit of doing together, and we're taking our coordinating role literally - just helping the thousands of small steps already being taken by Canadians across the country happen in unison.
There are already over 30 events planned across Canada for Fashion Revolution Week this April 23-29, and you'll be able to find them all here as they're posted. Complete listings by country can be found on the Fashion Revolution events site, and we'll be posting a running calendar of Edmonton-specific events over here on Facebook and on Instagram at @fash_revYEG.
Wherever you are in the world, you can make a difference to the Fashion Revolution movement. Check out www.fashionrevolution.org for ways to get involved, and download your "Who Made My Clothes?" / "I Made Your Clothes" signs here. Instagram handles and hashtags to follow include:
@fash_rev (global) | @fash_revcan + @fash_revusa (Canada + USA) | @fash_revyeg (Edmonton) if you're a YEGger like us.
#whomademyclothes | #imadeyourclothes | #fashrev