Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Dear Fabric, Where do you come from?

For some time now I've been very conscious of where I buy clothing, ensuring I don't buy from retailers who are not known for their support of ethical manufacture.  Now I don't want to name names (you can do your own research!) and my experience / knowledge is limited to Australia... however there are some big retailers who were very vocal on ensuring ethical standards in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster and others whose silence was deafening. 

I have often wondered about the manufacture of fabric (being the hoarder collector of fabrics that I am!), but am embarrassed to admit that I sort of pushed it out of my mind.  However when Marge Clothing brought to my attention that they only source ethically manufactured fabrics from Europe and the USA all those little questions in my mind came flooding back.

Why is that fabric so cheap?  Also a question we can ask in relation to ready to wear clothing.
Where does that fabric come from? 
Where are the fibres manufactured/grown?

Have I been ignorantly supporting the exploitation of children, inhumane working conditions, sweatshops and environment polluting manufacture through the seemingly innocent act of shopping? 

That does not sit well with me. 

So I took a break from shopping (including buying fabric!).  Moving forward I will only buy fabric that I know to be ethically sourced.  I would rather pay a few dollars more but feel good about the fabric I wear against my skin.  I do have a vast collection of fabric that has been gifted to me and I will not let it go to waste, however I will not purchase anything of unknown origin.   

There are a few films/documentaries out there which cover this topic; including The True Cost.

I know my change in buying habits will not change the world, however it will change how I feel about my place in it.

So please stop and ask yourself "why is that so cheap" next time you're shopping.  If the answer doesn't sit well with you, then you shouldn't buy it.