Fashion Revolution Day is fast approaching (it’s this Friday!) and it’s one of those rare advocacy campaigns that has a truly international feel. On April 24 each year, it aims to raise awareness of the true cost of fashion and celebrate those who are creating more sustainable fashion futures.
Organisers are encouraging people to use the hashtag #whomademyclothes and ask their favourite brand more about their manufacturing practices and ethical commitments. It’s a great example of how social media can be used to bring together a global community of like minded people. It got me thinking about the role of social media in advocacy, campaigning and culture.
Bronte Hogarth understands this world better than most. She is Head of Communications at 1 Million Women, a homegrown organisation that knows how to work the web, make messages meaningful and connect people to power. Bronte is a driver, thinker and social media guru. A self confessed ‘beach girl,’ she is passionate about food, conscious living and turning old things into new things.
Here, Bronte talks about how social media can influence sustainable change and shares some of her own favourite fashion labels and tips!
I’ve been involved in 1MW since the very start and am continually inspired by the work we do.
My mum, Natalie Isaacs, is the founder so the ethos of 1MW has been pretty ingrained in me from a young age. I strongly believe that driving behavioural change is vital if we are to preserve the future of our planet. That’s exactly what 1MW is all about – showing that you can live a full and succulent life, with fewer negative impacts.
I spend a large part of my working life ‘online’ and the use of social media varies greatly depending on the cause.
But…something that’s similar across all campaigns is this ability to build communities of passionate and engaged people who want to share what they are seeing and also share the fact that they are a part of something. That’s how you reach and inspire more people.
Social media is extremely important for 1MW and our community grows bigger everyday (which I hope means we’re inspiring more and more people!) We have members in our community from all over the world, which is something we never imagined would happen when we first started. Our social media engagement has a lot to do with that.
Fashion Revolution Day did extremely well last year in creating interest in the campaign through hashtags and a photo challenge where people took a selfie with their clothes inside out. It’s such a wonderful cause and another example of the online world bringing passionate people together, to tell the fashion industry that business cannot continue as usual.
The internet however is flooded with people trying the same tactics, but what makes something successful is when people can easily connect to it. Most people on the planet can connect with Fashion Revolution and to the issue of ‘who made your clothes.’
I have a few favourite sustainable fashion labels.
The Reformation is one. They use deadstock and sustainable fabrics which otherwise would have gone to waste and everything is produced ethically in L.A. I also love the simplicity of New Zealand based label Kowtow who are 100% certified organic and fair trade. I discovered a fantastic vegan shoe label in Brazil called Insecta Shoes, which recycles vintage materials to create beautiful oxfords and loafers.
I also love vintage and second hand clothing. I ran my own online vintage clothing shop for a while and customised a lot of things myself. About half my wardrobe is vintage, so if you can learn how to sew then you can easily make small changes to vintage pieces, to make them more modern or fit you better. It’s a fun and creative way to recycle rather than buying new all the time.
I hope that fashion and the act of getting dressed will become more thoughtful, and perhaps even business models will move away from being reliant on people buying more and more things all the time!