Text and Fashion Photography by Christine Donley for Swankety Swank.
If you want to really understand the impact of fast fashion on workers, communities, and the environment, we recommend checking out The True Cost. This glossy yet gritty documentary offers a robust education on how the clothes we wear and our desires to consume them are created. The film does a wonderful job of showing the human element of fast fashion through interviews with workers and industry leaders while giving an inside view of the environmental impact of growing of raw materials and factory production.
(The True Cost is currently streaming on Netflix)
Many believe that manufacturing is the key to driving economic growth in the developing world, even if the system is deeply flawed. A common argument is that workers could do alot worse or have no job if manufacturing positions were eliminated due to poor working conditions or unfair pay. Today, that’s just not good enough. We have embraced a consciousness of oneness with all living things. We advocate and act for our rights and for the rights of others. We know that with higher consciousness, intellectual development and abundance existing in the world today, there are ways to produce goods without exploitation. A brand can be structured to uplevel people and communities; exploitation is no longer an option.
UPLEVELING TO THE POSSIBLE
For real change to happen, companies must uplevel how they are structured and function. It starts with a change in mindset. Business must be guided by a new set of principles that extend beyond materials and workers rights. Successful new models will put people and our planet above, or at least equal to, profits. Pivotal to the transition from where we are to where we want to be is the participation of global fashion citizens in demanding change.
Swankety Swank joins the ranks of leading brands who are showing us how to run a fashion-forward, sustainable, human/planet-centric business. Sustainability and human rights are built into the business model. Every phase of operations considers how best to create a product that is generative in its production, consumption, and life-cycle.
SWANKETY SWANK IS A SOLUTION TO FAST FASHION
Yabette makes sustainability a priority, not an afterthought. With years of experience running a small, local, sustainable goods business, she is now taking her work global. Swankety Swank is currently on the precipice of launching a Unisex Hemp Collection in November 2015. This new line is created in the spirit of sustainability, well-being, partnership, and sophisticated fashion!
WE ARE BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE LINE FROM THE GROUND UP:
- Sustainable fabrics – Hemp and organics cotton blends
- Produced locally/USA
- Long-lasting / High quality
- Fashion forward
- Fair pay and respect for work force
- Partnership working models
As a consumer, the choices you make are how you exercise your power. When you choose to shop with sustainable businesses, you are telling the fast fashion industry that human and planetary health and well-being are priorities in your life.
In The True Cost, we meet quite a few sweatshop workers who implore us to remember their humanity and plight for workers rights, better pay, and safer working conditions.
Their communities really could be upleveled if they weren’t exploited. Since shopping with local designers doesn’t address this issue, here are a few ideas on how you can help:
- Recognize that as a consumer, you are a large part of the fashion industry. Your voice and spending are power.
- Be aware of the means of production and contact your favorite brands to advocate for upleveling their manufacturing policies and procedures to include human and workers rights.
- Support organizations that support workers in the developing world through donation or volunteering.
- Spread the message that workers in developing nations should have the same rights as those in the developed world.
With guided action, the fashion industry can be part of a new positive global development.
Look for the official launch of our Unisex Hemp Collection in November 2015.