Industrial cotton reel cones on wall

How did I come to opening a store selling sustainable fabrics?

This is a big topic, but the main reason is ethics: because we need to look after our planet which is unable to keep up with our waste and the damage we cause.

Buying from fast fashion retailers on demand makes us accountable for the damage caused to fellow humans.

So how did I get to opening a store selling sustainable fabrics?
My journey starts with fast fashion. I had always been aware of the damage that fast fashion causes the environment, and I never followed fast fashion trends myself. In 2013, when the Rana Plaza building collapsed, I knew I had to do more to help others be more aware of what we were doing to our planet.

The tragedy of the Rana Plaza collapse could have been avoided.
The Rana Plaza building was an eight-storey commercial building in Bangladesh which housed shops, a bank and garment factories. On 23 April 2013, large structural cracks were discovered within the building. Shops and banks on the lower floors of the building were closed to immediate effect. However these warnings were ignored by the garment factory owners on the upper floors. Under pressure from management, garment workers returned to work. 24 April 2013, the following day, the entire building collapsed killing 1,134 workers, injuring 2600, many who would require amputations and long term care.

This was the worst ever industrial incident to have hit the garment industry yet there remains a struggle for safe practices for workers today.

Who was at fault?
It’s easy to blame the garment factory owners and hold them accountable for the deaths of all the workers and rescue workers. However, they are part of a much bigger problem which most of us contribute to. If we buy from fast fashion companies, then we are all accountable.

The pressures and the demand of our consumption, and the speed at which we consume. The competition from rival garment factories. Everyone wants everything for cheaper. But at what cost? How many more lives must be scarified before we take heed.

What was done after the collapse?
The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh in May 2013 was created and campaigned for brands to sign on. The Rana Plaza Arrangement was created for compensation to affected families.

My next blog looks at the Rana Plaza Arrangement and the Accord, and how they put pressure on brands to pay up, and pay the workers.

Shop sustainable fabrics here to make your own clothes. Fabrics manufactured with the workers safety in mind.

Further reading:

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Photo credits: cottonbro @ Pexels

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