What is the purpose of Human Friendly Fashion Blogger Consortium and why are you interested in Blog Action Day?
I’ve been blogging about ethical fashion since 2010. It felt really lonely at first because although there are thousands of fashion bloggers, few talk about the ethics. However, since I began the ethical fashion blogging scene has grown. By coming together as a consortium like this it allows us to have a bigger voice than we can as individuals.
So far the response has been really incredible. We’ve had bloggers from Canada, to India and Australia join up. I think people are really excited about having a global conversation about human rights and fashion on Blog Action Day.
What is your role, where are you based and what do you inspires you most about your work?
I’m based in a small room in a small house in a lively part of East London. Although I work as a digital campaigner in the real world, my blogging, and the activities I do around it, is done for the love of it. I do it because I do love fashion and design. In fact I would go as far as saying they’re fundamentally important to us as human beings in terms of culture and identity. However it makes me ragingly angry that their production is so exploitative. And it stretches from the people who pick our cotton to the models who strut down the catwalk.
What do Human Rights mean to you ?
I came to the topic of ethical fashion through environmental concerns – the manufacture and waste created by the industry is a massive problem. However more recently I’ve become much more interested in the human rights aspects, because I felt they just weren’t being addressed. I found it chilling that just a few days after Anti-Slavery International accused Marks and Spencers of having workers in their factories in slave-like conditions, they released some new environmental initiative. Sadly it was the later that got most of the media coverage. For me, I really don’t care if my dress has been made with recycled polyester, if the person who made it is being sexually abused, not paid a living wage, or having to endure unbearable working conditions.
How can people get involved in Human Friendly Fashion Blogger Consortium or the broader issues of ethical fashion?
To get involved in the consortium, simply sign up via our website. All consortium members get listed on the site, and we’ll email everyone suggestions on how to take part on the day itself.
If people want to get involved in our other activities around ethical fashion they can sign up to the Fashion Mob, a people power movement to help fix fashion.
What are your suggestions or ideas for Blog Action Day participants to use in their Blog Action Day posts?
We’ve just launched a bloggers’ kit for anyone wanting to blog about ethical fashion on Blog Action Day. It includes images, a guest post and all sorts of other things to make life as simple as possible on the day itself. We’ll also be launching a Human Friendly Fashion outfit competition, and we hope to have some video content to share soon too.
We suggest that you could blog about
- How should the rights of people who work in the fashion industry protected.
- How I can change the way I buy clothes to ensure that the people who make my clothes have their human rights respected.
- Fashion retailers and designers need to invest in ensuring that the human rights of the people who produce their clothes and harvest the raw materials.
- Can fashion be a new way to champion human rights?
If people want to find out more about you or ethical fashion, where do they go?
The rest of the time I’m blogging at mswandas.co.uk, along with a couple of other like-minded contributors. We try and provide latest news on ethical fashion campaigns, while also providing hints and tips on how individuals can create their own ethical wardrobe. There’s also a useful directory of ethical retailers, designers and stylists to help people out.