I am sorry this is not going to be so funny...
I am not a big fan of pictures of pain - but this is the About-part and this is what this blog is about:
The Story behind the Label is a blog, from me, Nora, but what I want to talk about is not me. If you are interested in who is writing here, you can click here or keep on reading about what acutally is important about knowing the Stories behind Fashion Labels. Stories of people, labels, brands, production, countries and cultures - Fashion is full of this in wonderful and in horrible ways. There is so much more happening in fashion industries than advertising tells us. I will show you a kind of Fashion next to the mainstream. With Mainstream I mean everything normal in the so called "western world". And if you are like me, one of those who grew up in this western world, there might be some things you don't know:
Since the 1950´s the Fashion Industry grew from 8 to 52 seasons each year. Fashion became a lot faster in consumption, trends and production - called Fast Fashion. In the same time fashion became cheap. Primarkt, H&M, Zara, Forever21,...(I could keep writing down a long list) prove to us every day, every week with a new style, which is available from 1-2 Euro. Moreover there are brands who sell not cheap, but successfully "reduce some costs" and produce cheap.
Those costs are called the price of the Fast Fashion Industry or the True Cost - A documentary worth watching, which still sums up best the vicious circle of textile industries.
Workers, who make our clothes, pay the price of "reducing costs". Working 7 days a week 12-15 hours a day, for a minimum wage, which is mostly 70% under the existence minimum in very crucial and dangerous enviroments. Moreover due the development on chemical research, most materials which are handeled are highly polluted and cause all kinds of cancer and often cut of the access to clean drinking water or non-polluted food.
Economists, who try to argue that these working conditions are a state of historic development, because most of producing countries are in their time of industrialization - these are the economists who have not understood how global trade agreements, global economic dependency and ressource allocation work today. The most common argument: "Being a sewer in fashion industry is better than nothing" - is absolutley nonsense! I stress: It is not. In fact this is the very sad and naive outcome focussing numbers and growth only - The Textile Industry is the perfect example how Economic Growth build up a perfect complex system of human right violations, modern slavery, child labour, globalization, logistics, enviromental harm and trash and water problems. Today we have statistically more slaves than in times of apartheid - slavery through labour.
The Fast Fashion Industry is not going the natural way of economic growth anymore, it is not how industrialization works, it has nothing to do with developing infrastructure. It is a perfect structure of dependency, money and crime.
So who is responsible? Who is guilty? Who is the bad one?
This is where the complexity starts.
It is the corruptness of politics, which make workers fear to engage in labour unions or fight for their rights, it is the policy in the western world, which makes these countries highly dependent with trade-agreements to our economy, and this is also what allows the Labels to push the price down. It is the Label itself, who use that possibility, accepting the price of harm "somewhere else". It is the law system, which does not give all people the same rights, because they live in different countries with different laws, but still everyone working for the same Label. Labels, which get appreciated for their great economic growth - It is the education: Economics, which is taught on universities with stupid numbers and calculations for social responsibilities or values - building up the next generation of people, who believe that economic growth is a good thing, while the mass-production of Fashion is one of the biggest issues, when it comes to environmental pollution. It is the materialism of society and the believe "we need more" instead of less, but more efficient distributed - it is the advertising who tells us so, which makes us believe we will be happier and richer when we consume more, even though it makes everyone of us just poorer. And it is you and me. Our choice. Our not knowing, not thinking, not questioning, sonsuming and wasting clothes. So it is: All and everyone of us, being part of this global fashion industry simply by wearing clothes.
This is what this blog is about. The modern slavery, which every single one of us supports. Because we all wear clothes and we simply don't know anything about them.
This kind of thinking makes us believe no one is guilty anymore, right?
Well, but if you love your clothes and fashion: Love it and change something, value.
It's easy and actually so much fun! :)
I will take you with me on my journey from the very not-knowing (2014 going shopping at Primark/Pennys and being asked "Who made your clothes, Nora?", to becoming Fashion Revolutions Country Coordinator for Germany.
There are so many cool things in fair fashion productions already, we just need to see them. That is why I take you on my journey starting this blog in 2015 as a just finished B.A.Media Manager hitch hiking from Istanbul to India, looking at all sorts of textile industries, returning to Germany, working as a PR Freelancer with several Start-Ups, building up Fashion Revolution and fff - future fashion forward e.V., as well as becoming a student at Humboldt University in a Masterprogramm of Religion and Culture, focussing the research in developing aid, engaging in the sustainable office of Humboldt University and working for the IRI THEsys interdisciplinary research center on sustainabilty. Nevertheless being part of the deutsches Textilbündnis, being part of the discusssion how to bring together all acteurs within this industry.
Don't fear this complexity - it is aweome and stunning and easier than you think!