Friends, we are about to leap into a BIG week for sustainability and social justice. Monday, April 22 is Earth Day, and April 22-28 is Fashion Revolution Week!
There are lots of ways to honor both of these occasions. Here are a few ideas for both Earth Day and Fashion Revolution Week:
Earth Day 2019
Earth Day began in the United States in 1970 as a way to focus national attention on environmental issues. The day is an opportunity to promote environmentalism and eco-friendly living as a whole, and each year there is also a special theme to spotlight a specific environmental issue.
This year, the theme for Earth Day is “Protect Our Species.” The goal is to provide education and awareness about the accelerating rate of species extinction while also encouraging individual actions and policies that further protect animal species and their environments.
Here are some ways to honor Earth Day this year:
1. Read Earth Day Network’s official guide on protecting species.
This toolkit gives background on the problem of accelerated species extinction and provides practical steps you can take to act.
2. Get involved in a local Earth Day event.
Many municipalities and local organizations host Earth Day events. I suggest turning to our good friend Google to search for Earth Day events where you live. If you live near me in the Triangle area of NC, here are some events you may want to check out:
3. Create your own Earth Day event.
If no one near you is hosting an Earth Day event, create one yourself! I realize that we’re only two days out, so this likely won’t be a large scale effort. Simply gather a couple of friends and go clean up trash in an outdoor area, or watch a documentary that focuses on the environment. Or, start planning something that is a little bigger for Earth Day 2020!
Fashion Revolution Week 2019
Fashion Revolution is a global movement that promotes social and environmental justice in the fashion industry. Fashion Revolution Week takes place during the week of April 24 (this year it’s April 22-28), which is the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse that killed 1,138 garment workers. Fashion Revolution week focuses on the #whomademyclothes campaign, which I’ll talk about more below.
Here are some ways to participate in Fashion Revolution Week:
1. Ask brands who made your clothes.
The main focus of Fashion Revolution week is to post on social media asking your favorite clothing brands who made your clothes, using the hashtag #whomademyclothes. In turn, companies are asked to respond using the hashtag #imadeyourclothes and to demonstrate transparency about their supply chains.
My experience has been that many brands will not respond when you tag them. Still, your message puts social pressure on brands to ensure that their workers are being treated fairly. Even if they don’t respond now, you’ve planted the idea.
Several years ago, I posted on Instagram asking J.Crew who made my clothes. They didn’t respond. But this year, they announced a line of fair trade denim! Little by little, if we apply pressure, changes will happen.
2. Promote Fashion Revolution Week.
Encourage others to participate in the #whomademyclothes campaign by telling people about it and sharing about the campaign on social media. Fashion Revolution has graphics and posters available on their website for you to use to spread the word.
3. Attend a Fashion Revolution Week event.
Fashion Revolution has an Events section on their website that allows you to search for ethical and sustainable fashion events near you. There are quite a few events taking place during Fashion Revolution week and beyond!
4. Watch The True Cost.
This fabulously made documentary shines light on the ethical, humanitarian, and environmental issues of the fashion industry. I highly recommend watching it if you want to learn more about the impacts of our fashion industry on people as well as our earth. I also think it’s a great idea to rewatch it this week even if you’ve seen it before, since we can probably all use a reminder and refresher!
That’s all, y’all!
Please feel free to comment with other Earth Day/Fashion Revolution events that you know about. And comment with other things you are doing to honor Earth Day and Fashion Revolution Week! I’d love to add to this list and swap ideas!