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Monday, 24 April 2017

Fashion Revolution 2017: Guest Blog from sustainable fashion brand Know The Origin

In the second of our #FashRev specials we're delighted to pass on the reigns of today's blog to the wonderful Know The Origin. An affordable and sustainable brand, Know The Origin are a young and fresh brand producing basic wardrobe essentials without the long term damaging impact of Fast Fashion.

‘A Fashion Revolution’ 
A guest blog post by Molly from 'Know The Origin'

It’s here! Fashion Revolution Week!

We love this week because it means we can challenge brands to uphold the same values that are at the core of Know The Origin: transparency and respect of people and the environment. Unfortunately these are values that are all too lacking in the fashion industry today.

As a Fairtrade and organic fashion brand, at Know The Origin we don’t just want to use Fashion Revolution week as a time to challenge other brands and complain about the fashion industry, but we also want to celebrate! We want to celebrate the incredible processes that go into making our clothes and the ridiculously talented people that make it possible!
The core issue of fast fashion is that it's drive for profit means that it no longer values or respects the work that has gone into every garment. Around 80 people are involved in making a single tee from seed to garment - that’s whole lotta talent, time and effort from 80 individuals in one garment!

At Know The Origin we have seen how fashion can be used to support these individuals. We have traveled all over India to team up with awesome, social justice driven producers - essentially the ethical fashion equivalent of The Avengers!
All our producers, from our 100% cotton farmer owned cooperative to our final factories, have an incredible social impact. They are not only Fairtrade and organic but commit to projects such as food security training, recycling waste products from cotton and dyeing for local agriculture and supporting their workers through initiatives including funding workers children’s education and supporting women who have chosen to leave Kolkata’s sex trade.

The commitments our producers have made to individual workers across India are endless, and we are so inexpressibly proud to be able to support them. After visiting each producer and hanging out with the people that work there (including a lot of dancing and eating) we’ve been able to see the positive impact fashion can have on communities simply through respect! (Resist the urge to belt out Aretha Franklin…) Respecting the individuals and the environment that are involved in each garment is so key. From respect comes fair wages, sustainable practices and support. What could be better? 
So why doesn’t every brand hold these values at the core of their work? 

We have spoken to the survivors of Rana Plaza and Tazreen garment factory disasters and they know a very different, dark side to the fashion industry. Well, fast fashion means that there is a large amount of profit to be made from convincing people their clothing is disposable and worthless. There is an even larger amount of money to made by cutting corners which often means pressuring workers for more work with less pay and avoiding safety and environmental regulations.

Thankfully we, as brands, factories and consumers, have the choice to step away from this. Our money, our purchasing power, means that we have a vote. We can either vote for the current system of exploitation or vote for a new system of respect. As cheesy as it sounds, it really is as simple as that! So vote! Challenge brands, buy ethical (cough... choose us... cough,), shop less, re-use clothing and research! 

Do whatever you can to ensure transparency and respect are at the core of your wardrobe.

For more information about Know The Origin or to shop from their sustainable fashion collection follow the link HERE

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