Fashion Revolution Week aims to raise awareness of overconsumption, exploitation of natural resources

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SINGAPORE – Earth Day on April 22 is often marked across the globe with a slew of environment-protecting activities such as litter-picking and tree-planting.

For the fashion industry, the date coincides with the annual Fashion Revolution Week, which commemorates the 2013 Rana Plaza accident, in which 1,134 people died when a garment factory building collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

This year, the Singapore chapter of Fashion Revolution, the global activism movement and organisation, aims to raise transparency in the fashion industry by educating the public about the consumption-driven exploitation of natural resources.

The campaign, which marks the return of physical activities after two years of online ones due to the Covid-19 pandemic, began on Monday (April 18) and will end next Wednesday.

The public can take part in events such as workshops on stitching and upcycling – turning old or damaged clothes into new garments – and panel discussions on sustainable fashion.

Ms Shen Xingyun, Singapore’s Fashion Revolution country coordinator, said: “(In Fashion Revolution Week), brands will be encouraged to shift their focus away from endless growth, and consumers will be urged to scrutinise the real value of what we buy.”

Overconsumption, spurred by the rise of fast fashion and a lack of consumer awareness, is a significant contributor to environmental damage.

Dr Irene Huang, a lecturer from the Nanyang Business School in Nanyang Technological University, said shoppers are attracted by the frequent release of new items in fast fashion.

She said: “Take (online shopping platform) Shein as an example. It releases more than 5,000 new items every day, spoiling shoppers with choice and loyalty programmes that keep them coming back.”

Mr Raye Padit, owner of clothing swop platform The Fashion Pulpit, said: “All we see is the glitz and glamour of fashion shows and models on social media platforms, but companies do not tell us how and where something is produced.

“We’re just looking for what’s next and following the trends. We now treat clothes as disposables.”

Last year, households in Singapore generated 189,000 tonnes of textile and leather waste, a 38 per cent rise from the 137,000 tonnes thrown out in the previous year.


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