Here at Fashion ComPassion, we love hearing about campaigns which endorse the ideals of sustainable and ethical fashion as well as capturing the imagination of the public. One campaign which has recently piqued our interest was the ‘12 Rules To Dress By’, a sustainable fashion guide and checklist developed by sustainable fashion expert and campaigner Amisha Ghadiali.
The project came about through Amisha’s realisation that, although people were aware of the issues impacted by the international fashion industry, many of them were uncertain about the steps they should take in order to make their own wardrobes more sustainable and ethical. For Amisha, the responsibility of taking on issues like forced labour and toxic chemical use, and demanding change lies not only with governments and the fashion industry but also with the consumer. Clothes are an incredibly important aspect of our everyday lives; everyone wears clothes regardless of gender, race, age or style. In other words, we, the consumers, have the perfect opportunity to make a positive change to millions of people’s lives and to protect the environment - simply by making more conscious decisions about the way we shop for and wear clothes and fashion accessories.
By collaborating with visual communication designer Joana Casaca Lemos, Amisha created a simple yet provocative poster and checklist of the 12 Rules to spread her message about ethical fashion far and wide, encouraging people to think about the clothes they buy and wear. Whilst the checklist is only supposed to be a simple guide on to how to make more ethical and sustainable purchases, Amisha believes that by following her 12 rules individuals can really make a difference.
In brief, Amisha’s 12 Rules To Dress By are:
- Ask yourself if you really need something new, or if you can wear something in a different way to make it feel fresh.
- Try and set a limit for how many things you buy a year.
- Research ethical designers.
- Support small local designers.
- Buy something organic, or made from a new fabric such as from Soy Bean, Nettle or Milk.
- Have a wardrobe clear-out and give your unloved pieces to your local charity shop or hold a swishing party.
- When buying something new, ask the shop/designer what is not on the label, where it was made and whom by.
- Get out your sewing machine and customise something old into something new.
- When buying something new, think of how long you will like it for.
- Buy something that is fair-trade.
- Rent or borrow something instead of buying something new.
- Have fun with it.
The response to Amisha’s ’12 Rules To Dress By’ has been phenomenal. Since the launch in January last year, the rules have amassed a huge following around the globe and have been translated in over 10 different languages. What’s more, both the poster and the checklist are freely available to download, encouraging everyone to take part. The next step for the ’12 Rules To Live By’ project is to get the break into mainstream fashion and raise the profile of ethical brands and designers. For Amisha, 2013 should be a year where each individual will become a conscious consumer and demands the fashion industry to change its ways for the better.
To find out more about Amisha and her '12 Rules To Dress By', go to her website - Elegance Rebellion.