My guest on the Clothes & The Rest podcast this week is Tansy Hoskins, journalist and author of Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion. In the episode Tansy shares her knowledge of the fashion industry and chats about workers rights and big business, as well as how her passion for exploring the industry was sparked. Here though, I asked for her tips and advice on how we can get involved with an alternative fashion revolution…
“Firstly, I think fashion students in particular should commit to becoming experts in labour rights and sustainability, not just because it is the right thing to do, but because I think, or at least I hope, it’s the future of the fashion industry. The industry is in such a mess that I think we really need the next generation of fashion practitioners to commit to doing things differently and not simply accepting ‘business as usual’.
“Something we can all do is get involved with groups that are already making positive changes, like Labour Behind the Label, War on Want, and Greenpeace. It’s not about re-inventing the wheel, but just taking the first step, joining a group and finding like minded people. Get on the mailing list, follow them on Twitter and Facebook, find out what they’re doing and join in!
“Use social media to hold brands to account. The one thing they hate more than anything is bad publicity, and people questioning them. Connect with other people and discuss your thoughts, because nobody wants to wear clothes that were made in sweatshops. Instead, hold swap shops and free shops; ways to start think about different ways of using what we already have.
“Sign and share petition. There are loads going around at the moment; trying to keep the Bangladesh Accord, supporting the Ali Enterprises workers, about the environment. As well as that, write to your MP. Find out who your councillors are and start making a racket.”
As Tansy says, it’s all about making noise; voting with your words and your actions.