Your Guide to Ethical Shopping During Fashion Revolution Week 2023

As we approach Fashion Revolution Week 2023, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, a preventable disaster that marked the deadliest industry disaster of our times, it is essential to consider the impact our fashion choices have on the world. The World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) is participating in this year's events with the theme "Manifesto for a Fashion Revolution." The World Fair Trade Organisation and its members are determined to make a revolutionary impact, and you can help us too!

This guide aims to help you make informed and sustainable fashion choices during this crucial week and beyond. 

1.Learn about the principles of Fair Trade
Before you shop, it's crucial to understand the 10 Principles of Fair Trade outlined by the WFTO. These principles ensure that organisations prioritize workers' rights, fair wages, safe working conditions, environmental sustainability, and more. By choosing brands that adhere to these principles, you can be confident that your purchases are contributing to a better world.

2. Research your favourite brands
Take the time to research your favourite brands and determine if they align with your ethical values. Look for information on their websites about their commitment to fair wages, worker safety, and environmental sustainability. You can also consult independent resources, such as the Fashion Transparency Index, to compare brands and their ethical practices.

3.Support World Fair Trade Organisation members
The WFTO is a global network of organizations committed to the principles of Fair Trade. By supporting these members, you are ensuring that your purchases have a positive impact on people and the planet. Visit the WFTO website here to find a directory of  verified Fair Trade brands and retailers.

4.Choose quality over quantity
One of the most effective ways to shop ethically is to invest in high-quality, long-lasting pieces. This approach helps reduce the overall demand for fast fashion, which often relies on exploitative labour practices and contributes to environmental degradation. Instead, seek out timeless, well-made items that you can wear for years to come.

5.Embrace second-hand and vintage fashion
Thrifting and purchasing vintage clothing are excellent ways to minimize your environmental impact while still enjoying a diverse and stylish wardrobe. By giving new life to pre-loved items, you can reduce waste and lessen the demand for new clothing production.

6.Care for your clothes responsibly
Extend the life of your garments by caring for them properly. Follow care instructions, wash clothes less frequently, and repair items when needed. When you're ready to part with a piece of clothing, consider gifting it to a friend, upcycling or donating it responsibly instead of throwing it away.

7.Advocate for change
Use your voice to support the Fashion Revolution and the World Fair Trade Organisation's goals. Share information about ethical shopping with your friends and family, engage with brands on social media, and sign petitions advocating for improved labour and environmental standards. Sign the Manifesto here or Good Clothes Fair Pay here.

8.Celebrate success stories
Finally, recognize and celebrate the achievements of brands and organizations that are making a difference in the fashion industry. By sharing their stories and supporting their work, you can help amplify the message of the Fashion Revolution and encourage others to join the movement.

By following these practical tips during Fashion Revolution Week 2023 and beyond, you can contribute to a more ethical and sustainable fashion industry. Together, we can honour the memory of the Rana Plaza disaster by pushing for a world where fashion is a force for good.