Uncovering the Five Buts of Ethical Clothing
We're gearing up to launch a new book called "Uncovering the Five Buts of Ethical Clothing". It unravels some of the common "buts" given about why shopping ethically isn't realistic. Below is the preface to the book to give you a teaser. If you'd like to help us select a cover for the book and join the book's launch team, please take this quick two question survey: http://bit.ly/2f2pECF.
On 24th April 2013, 1,129 people died when the Rana Plaza clothing factory in Bangladesh collapsed. Rather than turn off the TV and just continue with the status quo, we decided to directly confront the reality of who made our clothes and the oppressive nature of their working conditions. We went through our wardrobes and gave away ALL our clothes that we couldn't guarantee had been made fairly. We were left with nothing.
Rana Plaza Factory Collapse
We then built a new wardrobe from scratch. A wardrobe where we only had clothes where we knew that everyone who had made them had been treated fairly. It was an incredible journey and we wrestled with how best to overcome what we saw, and continue to see, as the five biggest ‘buts’ of ethical clothing:
I) “But it’s too expensive.”
II) “But what about the lack of choice.”
III) “But I care about how I look.”
IV) “But how do I know where my money will go?”
V) “But what difference could I really make?”
In this book, we share our Visible Clothing story from our near nudity of having literally no clothes to buying and owning a fair trade certified factory in India, which is focused on making what’s behind the clothes visible - the costs, the people and the impact. We hope that as we unpack our journey you will be inspired and motivated to do more.
Andy Showell-Rogers on the left; Andy Lower on the right
We are thankful for your curiosity and interest in ethical clothing, enough so that you picked up this book. After reading “Uncovering the Five Buts of Ethical Clothing” we hope you will look at the world differently, whether you are starting to question your purchases for the first time or whether you are a seasoned ethical clothing buyer. As consumers, we have incredible power to make a difference and where we choose to spend our money speaks loudly about what we truly value. We want to challenge you to think about the people behind everything you buy and dispel some of the most common reasons that consumers give as to why shopping with values can’t be done.
We do not expect everyone to suddenly give away all their clothes like we did (although that would be an incredible social experiment!), but we hope to challenge you to find your own journey in shopping with values. The current status quo of the vast majority of the fashion industry is horrific. We are adamant that the prevalent abuse of both people and the planet is something our children and grandchildren will look upon with astonishment, horror, and disgust. It has to change and collectively we can make progress.
For the last four years, we’ve been on a wild ride, ever since our eyes were opened to the reality of the fashion industry, which resulted in a fundamental change in how we think about the world especially when it comes to our clothing. Throughout this book, we’re vulnerable, honest and visible about our journey and the steps others can take to embark on a journey of their own. This book does not intend to guilt or convict anyone but instead to provoke and provide solutions to make positive steps into buying more in line with ethical values that will change the world.
Here's to a clothing sector where everyone is treated fairly. We’re excited to walk alongside you on this journey.
Andy & Andy