In an ever-changing world, where we are exposed to thousands of options in so many aspects of our everyday life, we have the power to choose both as people and citizens of the world. This chain of small choices creates a bigger impact on the long term. Because of technology, such as the Internet, these choices can actually have a huge impact on a very short term, especially these days when customers are generating almost immediate product reviews . We might not even realise this but the real time information that we are providing as customers, is shaping the future as we consume in the present. It is a hard task to visualise how much we are giving away to companies who are ready to ‘pivot’ strategies depending on the coffee we drink in the morning or the new app we downloaded. Yet we’ve somehow come to believe we owe these organisations, when the truth is they owe us.
So, its time to come to terms with and be honest about these dynamics, understanding that there is a better way to know what we are buying and producing, and ultimately through these actions, see how we are changing the world; this is why I believe transparency in what we buy is the future of consumerism. We have the freedom to choose what we embrace as part of our lifestyle to reflect who we are. As Vanessa Friedmann from The New York Times states,
“Everyone gets up in the morning and they make a decision about what they’re going to put on their bodies. Therefore, it is something that we should look at and think about.”
If choosing what to wear when we wake up is part of our everyday decision making, why isn’t asking more questions about where our clothes come from? As customers of a brand we should have the option to know more if we wish to and perhaps become part of the company’s journey towards a more sustainable future. Makers, designers and creative entrepreneurs can also use their roles to shape a better future, where ethics and sustainability are embedded under a transparent umbrella, which one day will be – by default – the way we make our everyday choices.
Today, more of us want to know who made our clothes. Initiatives such as Fashion Revolution Day are linking the maker and the end product with the wearer – you and me. This causes us to understand that our clothes did not sew themselves. It is in this moment that we can apply empathy thinking for those who make our clothes, and as a consequence we can challenge brands by making use of our consumer power. If you would like to know more about the #fashRev visit their website and participate in Fashion Revolution Day on the 24th of April by wearing at least one garment #insideout and tweet to the brand you are wearing with your burning questions. I did last year and got some surprising answers!