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April’s here and we ain’t no April Fool!

Since that dreaded election result (you know the one I’m referring to) the World has been overrun with citizen activists. While it’s a total bummer that things have gone the way they have in the country that dominates world media, the fact that people are taking action on matters they care about as a result is a breath of fresh air. Here on Sustainability in Style April (also known as Fashion Revolution month) is all about action through activism. Back in the day being an activist required quite a lot of physical effort. There were picket lines, protests, marches and strikes. These all still exist today, but we are fortunate enough to have the world at our fingertips via fancy blinking screens and electricity. Which means that now- more than ever before- being an activist and having your voice heard requires less physical effort (unless you consider typing and swiping a cardio challenge) and more cup-of-tea-in-hand-couch-time- style protesting.

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The blog focus for this month of action.

April is a great month to focus on activism and action and it’s not just because the awesome alliteration (although that’s a bonus). It’s a great month because there are SO many things happening that you can easily get involved with. This month Sustainability in Style will be focused on:

  • Earth Day: April 22nd is Earth Day and this year the focus is Science not Silence. You can join the march to celebrate public discovery, distribution, and understanding of scientific knowledge as crucial to the freedom, success, health, and safety of life on this planet. The march demands action for literacy, communication, policy, and investment in our global knowledge capital. Info on Australian March locations can be found here. If you read regularly you will know that outside of blogging I work in science, so it’s something that I’m very passionate about. There will be more about this in the next couple of weeks.
  • Fashion Revolution: The fashion revolution is a call to arms for action in the garment industry. The movement is the response to the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh where more than 1000 people lost their lives and a father 2500+ were injured in a building collapse. Most of those affected were garment workers. Every year since the Fashion Revolution has encourage consumers to ask the labels they love the tough questions about where their clothing comes from. I’ve personally had some great success in getting contact and answers from the makers of some of my favourite clothing.
  • The Garment Gratitude Movement: This last little one is the launch of my very own  movement. I will share more about this below.

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The Sustainability in Style Garment Gratitude Movement.

The conscious fashion and eco beauty moments have gained some serious traction over the past three or so years. Every day more information sources and social media accounts surface to give consumers a great knowledge base from which to shop or take action. This is excellent news! However, somewhere between the mixed messages of ‘buy these eco things’ and/or ‘throw all the stuff you own away and live like a minimalist’, taking time to be grateful for what we have can get a little lost.

Like it or not what we wear gives a creative visual narrative of who we are to whoever is viewing us. We are told not to judge by appearance or that look’s aren’t important but in a way they are. Clothing, body language, and self adornment are a way of speaking without saying a thing. What we choose to wear not only changes or alters the way that those around us see us, it also changes how we see ourselves. Clothing can also restrict or enable our freedoms. Either in a literal sense (like the restriction or a tight pair of jeans) or a metaphorical sense (the cultural restrictions we might place on ourselves by wearing a uniform or religious attire).

The way that we interact with our clothing is deeply personal. It caresses us and supports us in intimate places and scenarios, provides barriers against the elements or prying eyes, and carries us tight through our triumphs and tribulations. Sometimes we romance it for years on end, and other times it’s a one-off fling. We try to dismiss it as ‘just stuff’ but anyone who has lost a loved one only to pick up their favourite sweater and wear it like a warm hug will be able to vouch for the fact that clothing is more than ‘stuff’. It’s an expression of self and something to be grateful for.

Which is why I’m throwing out there that sustainable and ethical fashion needs a #garmentgratitude movement. We need to celebrate this bond between us and our fashion faves. Celebrating and fostering this connection will not only reduce the amount of fashion waste (no-one wants to throw out their garment BFF) it will also  encourage us to give more thought to those who made the items we use to express who we are. Understanding that each stitch was made by another, and that cotton was picked by hand gives a beautiful sense of oneness through the whole fashion supply chain. Celebrating your clothing in all it’s awesomeness is also a celebration of the awesomeness of you. #Garmentgratitude is great big thank-you for those items that express your unique self to the world.

I hope that you will join me in the #garmentgratitude movement! You can find out more here!  Stay tuned as I add more resources and links to the page. I’ve been trying to get on top of it but I’ve been inundated with awesome stuff (like magazine deadlines and the Sustainability panel discussion tomorrow night)

What are you most excited about for April? Are you planning to join in any of the moments above? Share with us below!