If you’re anything like me, a slave to fashion, I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing any outfit that isn’t #onfleek. Keeping up with the trends has ignited my shopping obsession with cheap, high street fashion retailers. But do we understand the real price of discount clothing?
A vending machine, placed in the centre of Berlin attracts hundreds of shoppers with a t-shirt bargain costing £1,40 (2 Euro) but what happened next is truly unexpected and eye-opening…
Instead of the conventional vending procedure of dispensing the t-shirt, a video pops up and reveals the unethical working conditions of a young girl named Manisha, one of millions of people working 16 hour day shift in sweatshops. She earns a mere 9 pence an hour to provide us with our latest fashion fix. Shoppers stand back in state of surprise and shock. Did they really just contribute to these horrific and unjustifiable working conditions? When the video concludes, buyers are asked a question that provides some serious food for thought. Would they like to go ahead with their purchase or donate their money to charity? Unsurprisingly, every single person chose the latter.
Fashion Revolution created a truly amazing campaign that shows shoppers the true, human price of their cut-price clothing. A powerful message to shoppers.
Despite this being an eye-opening campaign, I still feel it won’t drastically change many consumers “take-away” buying habits. Keeping up with appearances ( NOT the Kardashians for once! ) is expensive going and has fuelled a fashion hungry society that lives, breathes and scavenges for the most stylish garments at the lowest prices. But can you blame us? Our salaries only stretch so far and some of us (especially young students and employees) can only afford this kind of clothing. What other choice is there? Surely, if these high street retailers can master the art of “fast fashion” they can incorporate a more sustainable way of manufacturing clothing?
None of us support sweatshops even if we do turn a blind eye. We do care about a brands supply chain and this campaign proves that. Fact is, unless the pioneers of mass-produced fashion incorporate an innovative way to keep clothing affordable whilst improving retail working conditions, this 24/7 business model built on rapid cycles of impulsive buying habits and disposable clothing will continue to grow.