Fashion has been the great love of many of our lives, but there has never been a more imminent moment than now to reset that relationship and reinvest in ourselves. That’s what #NoNewClothes is all about!
Through the collective crisis of coronavirus, we’ve seen fashion’s true colors. Brands in mass canceled and postponed orders, leaving millions of garment makers from LA to Bangladesh to Sri Lanka without wages, housing, and a way to feed their families. In response, Remake launched a petition on March 30th demanding brands #PayUp.
While we are still advocating for brands to #PayUp and support direct relief efforts to secure funds and resources for garment makers, it’s also time to look at our own roles in relation to fashion and the impact our choices have on Mother Earth and the people who make our clothes. It’s time to invest in the planet and ourselves.
So we’re inviting you to join Remake in resetting your relationship with fashion by taking the pledge to buy no new clothes for 90 days. From June 1 to September 1, join us in creating a positive relationship with fashion, one that puts people and the planet first.
For the next 90 days, we will hit pause on our purchases, pledging to buy no new clothes (how you define new is up to you!) while we reflect on the values we want to wear; the changes needed to create an inclusive, resilient fashion industry; and the role we can play moving forward. If the actions of brands and the sufferings of garment makers during the Covid-19 crisis has brought anything to light, it’s this: deep, systemic change is needed in the way fashion conducts its business.
By pledging to buy no new clothes — whether that’s buying nothing at all or only secondhand — for 90 days, you will reduce your carbon footprint, limit the waste you send to the landfill, and keep your hard-earned dollars away from companies that hurt people and the planet.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (F.A.Q.)
Can I take the pledge after June 1st?
Yes, absolutely! Taking the #nonewclothes pledge is a personal journey, and Remake will be here to support you on your path whether you started the challenge on June 1st or later.
By not financially supporting brands, aren’t you hurting the #PayUp movement?
Not at all. The brands still refusing to pay their garment makers’ wages have million-dollar (if not billion-dollar) net worths. They are not reliant on summer sales to complete past business and pay garment makers wages that are already owed to them. Additionally, by refusing to purchase clothing from them, you are making a powerful statement about the unethical treatment of their makers and calling attention to the systemic change that is needed in the fashion industry.
What about small, sustainable brands? Don’t these brands need our support during Covid-19?
Yes! Some ways that you can support small, sustainable brands during your #NoNewClothes pledge is by purchasing gift certificates or non-clothing items products from their stores, like household decor. You can also purchase clothing from sustainable brands as gifts for friends. The #NoNewClothes pledge does not equate to “no shopping.” Rather, the hope is that by refraining from purchasing new clothes over the next three months, you’ll become more aware of your consumption and waste habits and learn how to better challenge them.
How can I get my fashion fix while participating in the #nonewclothes challenge?
Just because you’re committed to buying no new clothes doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy fashion. There are a plethora of alternatives when it comes to getting your fashion fix during #nonewclothes.
If you still want to own rather than rent, check out Swap Society and ThredUp, two amazing online second-hand retail shops. Swap Society is offering one free item to everyone who takes the #nonewclothes pledge, and you can use the code REMAKE30 for 30% off your first order on ThredUp through August 1, 2020!
Don’t garment makers rely on our purchases to make a living? Doesn’t buying less negatively impact garment makers around the globe?
We get asked this question a lot, which is why we penned an entire op-ed on the matter!
Fast fashion exploits and engulfs generations of women into a cycle of poverty. On every Remake journey to production hubs, the women we meet tell us that they are sacrificing their own wellbeing to keep their children in school and secure a better life for their families. Yet, she is making barely enough to pay rent and put food on the table. I remember a story of one woman that haunts me to this day. Her garment job paid her so little, that when she had a tooth ache, she had to take out a predatory loan and take up sex work on the side to pay the loan backs. Should our dollars be supporting these types of jobs?
Garment jobs are neither good nor safe. So the argument that at least fast fashion creates jobs is not good enough. Deaths and injuries are common place in our industry — from the infamous Rana Plaza factory collapse to the lesser known but constant truck accidents which injure, kill, and hurt garment makers on their way to work.
“In a best case scenario, robots take on board the most repetitive, mundane, and non-cognitive tasks of apparel manufacturing,” Jae-Hee Chang, the author of the ILO report, says in the Guardian. “Robots would also assume more of the dangerous and dirty tasks, like mixing of chemicals, which can be hazardous to human workers. Ultimately, human workers would be able to perform more satisfying and rewarding, as well as higher-paid, jobs in the sector like programming robots for better production and design.”