20 minutes. That’s how long it took for Kylie Jenner’s $29 lip kits to sell out when she released a new orange color last year.
There are dozens of blogs detailing the ways in which Kylie Cosmetics is cruelty-free and vegan. We’ll pore over whether our shampoo is paraben-free or our nail polish contains harmful chemicals, but when it comes to our clothes, the only real question beyond the fit is, “How much?”
In 2011, workers in a Cambodian garment factory suffered a mass fainting after the grounds were sprayed with insecticide. It barely made international news despite being one of several incidents of its kind in the garment industry in just a few months. If you care if your lipstick is tested on animals, wouldn’t you also like to know if your clothing may have been exposed to harmful chemicals? Let alone that it hurt the people who made it for you?
The “how much” mindset comes with years of customer training. The closest we get to an education on how our clothing is made or where it comes from is the “Made in…” tag.
When Kendall Jenner walked in H&M’s now iconic Balmain jacket, the headlines didn’t tout the handiwork of artisans abroad, they broadcast its place as the mega retailer’s most expensive (and must-be-desired) garment. The collection sold out in hours.
If we want to see ethical fashion become a household subject through the power of mainstream media, it could be worthwhile recruiting a Kardashian.
If Yeezy can successfully move an Adidas collection of dingy $300 hoodies, think of what Kim, Kendall or Kylie could do for Fair Trade organic hemp in just one selfie and seven minutes. Everything that family touches turns to media gold. And now that Kim is back in the fold, I’m just asking them to turn it fair trade.
As for us, we can rep better made clothes that leave the end maker better off. Know better brands, buy fewer, better things. #remakeourworld
Cover Image: Lauren Fleischmann/Unsplash