It’s Fashion Revolution Day and things are turning #insideout. As you may remember, last year, on this day 1,133 people were killed and over 2,500 were injured when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed on top of garment factory workers in Bangladesh. Fashion Revolution Day and the hashtag #insideout is to remind people to think about where their clothes come from.
I was really happy to participate in the handmade spin on Fashion Revolution Day spearheaded by Abby from Things for Boys, Celina from Petit a Petit & Family, and Laura from Behind the Hedgerow. I have my handmade shirt on inside out, I tried turning my store-bought jeans inside out but it was hard to use the zipper…I had to ditch that idea.
It’s really hard, as a sewist, to hear about the tragedy in Bangladesh and not be affected. My heart just hurts when I think about the collapse of a building housing so many workers. Many of them doing exactly what I do almost every day. Of course, under very different circumstances.
I feel the impact of this disaster every time I walk into a clothing store and see the clean, crisp clothing. Rows and rows of it, all lined up so perfectly. It is the cleanliness that really gets me. I know from my experience that it’s easy to end up with a prick of blood from an accidental poke of a needle or a smudge of food on a handmade shirt. My guess is if that happened in a clothing factory the shirt would be tossed out. The message being, “Keep it clean. Keep the consumer as removed as possible from the person who made this.”
It’s a clean, clean landscape for something that is so damn dirty. Don’t even get me started on how I feel when I see a shirt on sale for next to nothing.
Handmaking isn’t perfect either. I realize that. I have a closet full of fabric and somebody made that, too. That said, I’m happy that by making much of my clothing I’m eliminating some of the human tragedy from the fashion chain. By forging my own sense of style through handmade clothes, I am rejecting the ‘disposable’ mentality the fashion industry is trying to sell me. Handmaking and upcyling is a start of something good. It’s a pushback to the quick-change, you-need-the-latest thing circus show I see playing out at the mall.
We all deserve better than that.
So….have you got a shirt on? Turn it inside out, take a picture and post it on Instagram with #insideout or #handmadeinsideout. Shop at thrift stores, consignment stores or host a clothing swap with friends. Make something handmade and wear it with pride. It’s a revolution, baby!