5 Ways to Slow Down Fast Fashion

by | Artisans, Missions


Read Time: 4 min.

Remembering Rana Plaza

In 2013, the tragic collapse of Rana Plaza, a Bangladesh factory complex, killed 1,138 garment workers and injured over 2,500. This devastating event ignited a worldwide outcry, erupting into a global movement to expose the inhumanity of fast fashion and shine a light on the importance of fair trade. Known as one of the worst industrial tragedies in history, this structural failure is one of many horrific accidents stemming from unsafe working conditions and the human rights issues of fast fashion.

Yet out of the darkness, a revolution was born: A revolution to create awareness, to raise questions, and ultimately, to bring about change. That change begins with you and me as consumers.

fast fash – ion noun

1. inexpensive clothing produced rapidly, often in inhuman working conditions, by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.

Fast Fashion

The fashion industry has grown to a frenzied pace. Consumers crave the newest, hottest, fresh-off-the-runway styles. This “fast fashion” focuses on quick, cheap production. Manufacturers underbid their competitors to keep up and often leave a large carbon footprint. To cut costs, these manufacturers will underpay their workers (or withhold wages), force young children to work, or refuse to address unsafe working conditions. Unethical companies choose risk over human rights. The unfathomable cost of that risk was evident in 2013, yet continues today.

Fashion Revolution Week

Trades of Hope is proud to stand with Fashion Revolution Week, the movement about changing the garment industry. Together, we can put an end to human rights violations and instead, see these workers as individuals first. This revolution starts with each one of us, as consumers, caring about the real people who make what we buy.

The majority of these workers are women: Women just like you and me – women with children, sharing the same hopes and dreams for a future without worry. They deserve to be paid a fair living wage so they can be with their families instead of working 12-14 hour days, 7 days a week.

Won’t you stop and consider… Who made my clothes… shoes… jewelry… bag… BEFORE your next purchase?

Trades of Hope is Proud to Be “Slow Fashion”

We empower our Artisans with safe working environments and living wages. We invest in their wellbeing, in their health, and in the sustainability of their communities. We pay our Artisans their asking price, up front. We offer training and educational opportunities for their personal growth. We know the names of our Artisan partners. We know their stories, their struggles, their desires to meet their full potential. Each and every one of them is equal to us – and we are ALL worthy.

What Can You Do?

Awareness is key to changing the working conditions and creating a more sustainable work ethic in the US and around the globe.

#1 Shop Fair Trade Companies!

Shop Fair Trade Companies (like Trades of Hope!) – there are more fair-trade options for all consumer products available today than ever before. Do your research, do your part.

#2 Try Thrifting!

If you are in need of new clothes, try thrifting to lower the demand of fast fashion companies (it also helps lessen our waste as well!).

#3 Demand Better!

Demand better – Take a stand on social media: Tweet, post, Instagram @ companies and designers and demand to know #whomademyclothes

#4 Raise Awareness!

Raise awareness this week by posting photos in your ethically-made fashion pieces and sharing on your blogs and social media pages with the hashtags #fashionrevolution and #whomademyclothes.

#5 Show and Tell!

Post your pics wearing Trades of Hope products and you may be featured on our social media pages! Include the hashtags, #TOHstyle and #fashionrevolution to your posts and @ mention @tradesofhope. We love to see world changers like you!

Trades of Hope is partnering to fight poverty & human trafficking in 19 countries.

You can partner to fight poverty & human trafficking in 19 countries.


Share this story!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Barb DeSouza

Barb DeSouza

Barb has held several roles at Trades of Hope in the past 5 years but none fit this entrepreneur's style like her role in our Marketing/Communications team. Best known as her alter-ego, "Barbara Hope" in the Partners' Facebook world, Barb infuses her quirky dry humor to punctuate her posts and/or lightens tensions with a well-placed sarcastic GIF when the group's collective estrogen level is peaking. She is passionate about coffee, grammar, music, creating art, and is 817% smitten with her first grandbaby, Jack.


1. similar in kind; related
2. a blog by Trades of Hope

Trades of Hope is an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand that helps women around the world escape poverty and trafficking through our fair trade designs. Learn how you can partner with Artisans around the world here.