(A word of caution about this post: this is not upbeat, this is not lighthearted but it's informative and important to read and watch). Enter at your risks...
There are few catastrophes in this life that have shaken to my core. I can be jaded and pretty cynical about things...
That being said, we all have the common experience of 9/11... and we have all shared our experience and our emotions to this event with the simple: "Where were you when the planes hit the twin towers?"
Well, I was in bed sleeping soundly in San Diego... My then girlfriend (who was abroad at the time) called me frantically to turn on the tv immediately. I did and screamed for my roommate to get his butt over here this instant. I still get chills about it and I find all this loss, these deaths utterly stupid.
Now... Where were you when Rana Plaza happened? I was right here, in my office working on Vavavida. Oh, you've never heard of it? I am not surprised to tell you the truth. It's the place where a sweatshop used to be in Bangladesh. I say "used to be" because it collapsed and 1,100 people died in the process. The 2nd anniversary of the collapse is coming up (April 24) and when it happened it shook me to my core. 1,100 people. all dead. mostly women and young girls. All dead. And I was angry and incredibly sad. Dead. Because WE don't think how we buy our clothes, me included. Who's fault is it? Us or the brands that barrage us with constant, incessant advertising for new collections, new looks, new this and new that... Seasons just used to be 4 times a year, now fast fashion companies make them every 2 weeks. It forces tremendous pressure on their sub-contractors and their sub-contractors to deliver finished orders in absolute record time. For example, H&M goes from sketch to store in a couple of months now. The pressure on the small sub-contractors forces their margins down and thus forces them to increase the pressure on their workers, who often have no choice but to work 12 hours/day for ridiculous pay and no time-off. American brands (and European ones to a lesser extent) wash their hands off having ANY responsibility because they supposedly cannot control the practices of their contractors. Well, that's just massive load of lies and we should wash their mouths with soap. :)
Oh, I know you'll think this is hypocritical of me to criticize them. We are in the same business. Yes and no. We are nothing like the money thirsty/very low ethics companies like Urban Outfitters, Free People, Zara, Gap, H&M and the likes. We built our business on ethics and on being socially conscious AND fashionable. We think YOU should not have to choose between great style at a good price and perpetuating poverty for a cheap tank top. But, that's besides the point here.
Now, where was I? Oh yes... on to the reason why I am writing today.
What I wanted to talk about today is related to Rana Plaza... Just today, I have come across a web series from Norway through a wonderful article that gives a certain reality check to ALL of us, but especially to 3 young fashion bloggers. I am not sure "Enjoy" is the right thing to say here, but this is important to see if you cannot experience it.
Watch the first episode after the break...
Watch the other episodes in this link that will take you to newspaper (aftenposten) that commissioned the show.