Millionaire Creative directors of fast fashion and celebrity brands would argue that we all have the same 24 hours in a day that can be utilised to achieve one’s greatest entrepreneurial ventures only if we have the will to do so.
Yet if you flip the coin, the other side is not so much of a meritocratic face as it is the exploitative manual labour, whereby the very same fast-fashion corporations are paying their garment workers approximately £3.50 p/hour when the living wage is £8.91 (for ages 23 and over) in comparison to the 7 figure payroll of their directors. If we share the same 24 hours, why is the pay difference such a disparaging difference?
There are many iterations of the famous “We have the same 24 hours in a day” quote, but what are its roots and how does it corroborate violent attitudes towards the working class and the underprivileged, especially in the fashion world of today?
Underpaid, underappreciated and overworked:
Leicester city is one of the UK’s largest garment industry hubs and it is not a coincidence that around a third of its workers are from ethnic minorities who were born outside of the UK – leading them to be extremely vulnerable to abuse and exploitation due to a lack of support and articulation of a foreign language to seek help.
With the same 24 hours, garment workers across the globe are handed ultimatums instead of choices to better their lives. The illusion that meritocracy, that one’s own merit will grant them access to positions of success, ignores the reality that many cannot afford stability; generational disadvantages and economic situations make one’s priorities near impossible to plan for the future when tomorrow is not certain.
Why Fashion Revolution is important:
Fashion Revolution aims to bring “systemic and structural change, the global fashion industry can lift millions of people out of poverty and provide them with decent and dignified livelihoods.”
The movement was started with the 2013 tragedy, the collapse of the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh. Now this annual reminder stands for all underrepresented and undervalued workers within the Fashion industry while holding fashion giants accountable. Read more here to learn more about Fashion Revolution week.
The Revolution starts at home
Over here at 4649.REC we are championing upcycling, customisation and recycling of ore-loved family clothes that exist to give them a new lease of life. Our principles are that clothes carry history, a story and a potential to be REinvented, REimagined to REConnect us with what we already have. We believe in sustaining energy through recycling energy – this extends to committing to the practice of not mass producing stock, only crafting and designing with what already exists by giving them new life.
Keep an eye on our Instagram for more on our take on Fashion Revolution