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Fast Fashion and Workers’ Rights


Another fashion is possible! This call is based on Belgian science philosopher Isabelle Stengers’  summons for a new science. A slow science that distances itself from economical interests which are compromising scientific research and its results. A slow science which should be allowed time to hesitate, time to question and time to verify its hypotheses without losing its autonomy and complying to the capitalist pressure.

On the same model, a new fashion is possible. This is a call for new methods of problem solving. Let’s take up our weapons and fight against the status quo that says there is nothing we can do. We can fight against the situation in which business is omnipotent and people are left feeling powerless.

Raise Your Voice

There is always something we can do, no matter how little the impact might seem to us. We need to develop a consciousness about what is happening around us, our role in the situation and what we can do to change it. We must sharpen the instinct by which “free people know what is or is not dangerous“ if we let George Orwell’s words resonate.

It’s Not Normal

Raising our voices and joining the loud call for change is the first thing we can do. Let’s overcome our fear of public opinion, of being laughed at embarrassed. These fears too often keep our mouths shut and our heads bowed. It is not normal that garment workers’ rights are being ignored and violated!

Consumers should have access to transparent data about everything they purchase. Big brands and corporations need to be liable for their actions and behavior. Their ethical commitments should always be properly measured and verified!

All the world’s citizens should participate and take action. Let’s stand together to end the oppression of a large part of the world’s workforce

Reversing the Situation

Bringing attention to these issues can be done in many ways. One of which took place last week: Fashion Revolution Week. No matter how small the country, each has a part to play in this initiative and try, together, to reverse the situation.

For the third time in a row, Slovakia, a central European country of nearly 5.5 million inhabitants, held events in three different cities (Bratislava, Košice and Poprad). In a video from last year’s Fashion Revolution Week, activists created an installation on one of the most visited places in the capital city. Here they dumped 460 kg of old clothes which is the amount thrown away every 10 minutes in the country.

The video also indicated that only 10% of all the clothes that are thrown away are being recycled, while studies have shown that almost 100% of household textiles and clothing can actually be recycled (Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service).

Small Actions

The video mentioned that an average Slovak person buys 13 kg of clothes annually It also underlined the fact that even small actions can bring important results. Everyone was encoureaged to roll up their sleeves and raise their voice for a fair and sustainable world.

A note from the writer: The reason why I used Slovakia as an example for this article is not devoid of specific motives. Aside from personal reasons, I am currently undertaking a three-month internship in an art gallery in the centre of Košice. I will be attending the events organized for the Fashion Revolution Week 2019 – a unique opportunity to see how other countries, which might not get international coverage in the media and the press, deal with such issues).


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