How often have you thrown out a top because it had a small hole in it or a pair of jeans that didn't fit your waist exactly right? We seem to be trapped in a culture of disposable fashion, with trends coming at us a mile a minute via Instagram and Pinterest. It can be hard to keep up with which clothes we actually love.
A campaign concerned with sustainable fashion is launching this week that encourages fashion lovers to think more consciously about their clothes. The #lovestory campaign hopes to inspire people all over Ireland to rebel against the culture of fast fashion and to shop their own wardrobe as part of the global Fashion Revolution Week. Fashion Revolution Week runs from today until the end of the week to highlight the importance of repairing and repurposing clothes in your wardrobe that need more love, instead of running out and buying a new item that will find itself in a bin a few months later.
The #lovestory campaign is asking participants to take a photo of themselves with an old wardrobe favourite and share it on social media with a message about what the piece means to them, tagging #lovestory and @fashrevireland. The idea is to embolden fashion lovers to fall back in love with their own well-loved pieces instead of buying new.
There is a global crisis surrounding fast fashion right now. The fashion industry is reported to be one of the most polluting industries in the world, second only behind oil. As well as its damage to the environment, the fashion industry's negative impacts on garment workers worldwide are well documented. Tomorrow marks the five year anniversary of the Rena Plaza collapse, in which 1,134 people died while working on clothes for Western brands such as Primark, Mango and Accessorize. The anniversary and the worldwide Fashion Revolution project has spurred people on social media to question the ethics of their high-street purchases, taking pictures of their garments' labels with the hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes.
Brands and designers are finally beginning to sit up and take notice. There is already an abundance of high street brands introducing conscious lines, including H&M, Zara and Mango, and high-street favourites like Topshop, Urban Outfitters and ASOS have stocked reclaimed vintage items for years. Many of Ireland's own best-loved designers and fashion activists have lent their support to the #lovestory campaign, including jewellery designer Chupi, knitwear designer Liadain Aiken and environmentalist Sophie Hellyer.
Fashion Revolution Ireland Coordinator Kaitlin Pettersen said: "The #lovestory campaign is a great opportunity for fashion lovers to rediscover some of their favourite pieces and celebrate the stories they represent, all while raising awareness of the importance of sustainable and ethical fashion in Ireland.
The negative impact of the fashion industry is well documented and many people are keen to get involved but don't know where to start. By sharing a fashion #lovestory shoppers can take the first step towards contributing in a positive way and hopefully rekindle the love they once had for some old fashion favourites."
There will be events taking place across Ireland all week to celebrate Fashion Revolution Week and give everyone the opportunity to get involved with #lovestory. You can find all the details on Fashion Revolution Ireland's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.