Where do your clothes come from?

21st April 2017 5:05 PM
NEW PERSPECTIVE: Jane Milburn wearing a history skirt with a story to tell about how it was created from redundant textiles. NEW PERSPECTIVE: Jane Milburn wearing a history skirt with a story to tell about how it was created from redundant textiles. contributed

WHERE do your clothes come from? Who makes them? And what happens to them when you throw them out?

These are questions everyone should be asking this Fashion Revolution Day on April 24, according to Jane Milburn.

Ms Milburn started the Slow Clothing manifesto and the website Textile Beat which aims to teach people to think natural, quality and local about our clothes.

It also encourages people to care for, make, adapt, revive and salvage clothes and not to indulge in fast fashion.

These are also the aims of Fashion Revolution Day, held on April 24, which is the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in April 2013 in Bangladesh that killed 1133 people.

The day works to honour the fashion factory workers who died and encourages people to ask who makes their clothes.

Ten years ago, Ms Milburn was working for AgForce raising awareness for the slow food movement and making people aware of where their food comes from.

"About four years ago, I had a light bulb moment, that clothing is the next story to be told; everyday we eat and every day we dress. They are essential to our well-being,” she said.

"We need to make choices around what we eat and wear and the effects on our health, the health of others and the health of the planet.”

Ms Milburn is encouraging people to think more about what they wear and how they can be sustainable when in comes to clothes.

"I have nothing to do with the fashion industry, I'm encouraging people to do their own style rather than be a slave to fashion and there many ethical issues going on there,” she said.

Ms Milburn runs workshops teaching people how to fix and mend their own clothes or to make them into something new altogether.

She said the fashion industry often lacked transparency about the amount of waste it produced, and the exploitation of workers.

Ms Milburn said simple steps to having a more sustainable wardrobe include buying a sewing kit and a good pair of scissors, learning to hand sew and repair clothes.

"You put emotion and new life into it when you repair things rather than throwing them out,” she said.

"Think about the time you spend shopping for something new you could be mending something you have.”

Focus on buying local, quality items made from natural fibres as well as buying clothes from op shops and second hand stores.

"Rural town second hand stores have some great bargains,” she said.

"Don't buy something just because it's on sale, think about, how often you would wear it and do you need it?”

For more information about slow clothing go to textilebeat.com