My hours of research in frontline retail, and by this I mean going to work and watching customers, has lead me to conclusion that Old Aunty Betty and myself are the only people on the planet* who actually read the garments manufacturing and care labels. It is quite amazing how many customers would pick up a silk feel 100% polyester top and state ‘this would be nice and cool for summer’, which is in actual fact that is a TOTAL FALLACY.
What a 100% polyester top will do for you in the warm weather is trap a layer of hot air between itself and your skin and cause you to sweat like a pig. It is also really good at keeping all that yummy bacteria on your skin in a warm incubator-like-state causing maximum stench factor in your underarm regions by days end (which is a great way to get a whole bus seat to yourself but not a socially acceptable way to live).
Not reading care labels on a garment is like buying a book with a pretty cover and not glancing at the blurb. Sure you might strike it lucky and get yourself an amazing read, but more likely than not your going to accidentally gift your mother-in-law a graphically violent book about rape, when you though you were buying her a light read about the adventures of a dragon tattooed girl (don’t laugh, this actually happened to a co-worker of mine).
So unless you read the blurb on the back of your book, you will never know what your getting yourself into (some of you will be sadly disappointed that Huckleberry Finn has little to do with a half naked siren, pouring water on herself and looking dreamily into the distance).
The same thing goes for clothing. Know your fabrics, read your origin of manufacturing, and look at the care instructions, that the only way to know what your really buying.
Now that my lecture is over *dusts-off-hands with sense of accomplishment* I want to share my excitement when a casual afternoon google led me to Fashion Revolution. An organisation which not only encourages consumers to read the tags in their garments (what you didn’t realise they had tags on the inside? Shame) it gets them to share their knowledge of care and origin labels with others by wearing their clothing inside out for the whole day on the 24th of April 2014.
The ‘Fashion Revolution Day’s’ first mission is to get consumers to start asking “who?” make the clothes on their backs (and hopefully fronts). So this doesn’t mean #ing the designers of your duds, it requires looking for the country of origin and contemplating the long journey and hundreds of hands that were involved in getting those clothes from raw material to fancy yoga pants.
I’m marking the 24th of April as inside out day on my calendar right now! Who doesn’t love an excuse to dress inside out on purpose (usually this is saved for days my alarm doesn’t go off and I dress in a frenzy) and get on their swing tag high horse and educate others about the garment manufacturing process.
Mark it down! Or I will get my dog onto you (and he is doing some killer stinky under-desk farts you really don’t want to experience).
*Writers note: Have I mentioned that I am sometimes prone to exaggeration for the sake of linguistic theatrics? If not, please keep this in mind.