On Saturday 21st January 2017, as thousands of women across the world gathered to march for women’s rights, the message was loud and very clear. We have had enough. The energy at Trafalgar Square (the Women’s March London rally point) was inspiring, as we strained to hear those speaking. But, whilst we were walking away after the rally rather than feel settled; I was distressed. The questions “Where will we go from here?”, “How long will this anger last?”, “What will be done about it?” and “What Next?” looped through my mind as I walked to Leicester Square (and until I arrived home). From social media, it seemed many others were also thinking ‘What Next?’.
I marched because I believe in equality. I believe woman’s rights should be respected. I believe change is possible. One day of marching don’t solve the issues. So it’s important to continue marching, figuratively and literally, and hoping everyone -the hundreds of thousands of women and men who were out on the 21st continue to. So Lost in Talent pledges to keep marching; by highlighting the various ways that we can all make a change.
So what next? In the context of fashion, we recommend:
- Supporting alternative brands to fast fashion
Whilst fast fashion is often attributed some responsibility for the so called democratisation of fashion, our cheap clothing comes at a cost to many women (in countries like Bangladesh, Cambodia and Kenya). 80% of workers in the garment factory are women with 20% of those workers not having any education. They are also greatly underpaid and their health and safety often jeopardised as we saw from the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster. So rather than inject money into a system that benefits from exploiting women, invest in brands that champion all women.
- Asking questions if or when you shop fast fashion
We can’t expect everyone to go cold turkey. But this doesn’t mean you can’t have an impact. You can cut down how much you shop and when you shop fast fashion, ask questions about the people who make your clothes, ask where your recycled clothes will go, ask questions. Ellen Kohrer, author of ‘Fashion Made Fair’, shared (during our interview in Berlin) that questions of these sort go to the top of the food chain. So ask questions; they have an impact.
Over the coming weeks, we will continue highlighting ways to be involved in protecting human rights and creating change.