Revolting Fashion

It’s time to start thinking about where our clothes come from. Liandra van Staden fills us in on a revolution happening in fashion and how you can get involved.


Photo Credit: Llwellyn Makhanya aka Juice the Giant / @fotoboothdurban


Things are changing in the world of fashion. We never think change will happen until it does. Remember the first time someone told you they were a vegan and they had to explain what that meant? Look at us now. All glass straws and almond milk.


Have you ever wondered about the impact your wardrobe choices have on the world? Better yet, have you considered how your wardrobe choices can have a POSITIVE impact on the world?

Quite literally, your t-shirt can have an impact on the globe. Now, I can practically hear you scrolling past and thinking, “This has nothing to do with me. Fashion isn’t my thing.” May I ask, are you naked right now? If not, I’m sure this will be of interest to you. If you are indeed scrolling naked… Kudos, but also – for the next time you get dressed – keep reading.


There is no escaping the fact that we have made a bit of a mess of our planet. We are constantly bombarded with increasingly depressing facts and figures about the effects of our devastation. This leads to anxiety Checkers caused by valiant attempts to avoid putting plums in a plastic packet to weigh; or innocently sipping on a cocktail from a straw for a few minutes before someone points out your unforgivable single-use plastic faux pas. Maybe these are only my struggles, but I feel that many people can relate; even if fashion isn’t really your thing.





As someone who has committed my career to ethical design, it’s natural to question what the social and environmental impact of my industry is, and what the related consequences are. The answer is simple. The impact is enormous and the consequences are disastrous. To put it simply:  It’s a bloody atrocity. Fashion is harmful to the environment, to women and workers in general. Quite frankly, it seems like the fashion industry is just out to make bucks. I feel like I can’t change it, but I really, really want to change it. Luckily, it’s not just me, and globally there is a shift towards shining a light in the dirty corners of sweatshops and calling for accountability and
transparency in all things fashion. Enter the Fashion Revolution.




“We are people from all around the world who make the fashion industry work. We are the people who wear clothes. And we are the people who make them.
We are you.

We are the “pro-fashion protesters” because we love fashion and want to see it become a force for good. We celebrate fashion as a positive influence while also scrutinizing industry practices and raising awareness of the fashion industry’s most pressing issues.

“On 24 April 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed. 1,138 people died and another 2,500 were injured, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history. There were five garment factories in Rana Plaza all manufacturing clothing for big global brands. The victims were mostly young women.” That’s when Fashion Revolution was born.”

-FR Manifesto


That’s right. TWENTY THIRTEEN. And here we all were, thinking that sweatshops were a thing of the 80s. When this tragedy occurred and was well publicised, brands all over the world scrambled. Companies didn’t HAVE A CLUE (Ed Note: Well, they claimed not to) if their clothing was being manufactured at this site. Crazy, hey? That’s why one of the biggest motivators of the Fashion Revolution is to call for transparency in the supply chain of the fashion business model. Increased transparency leads to accountability and in turn, this could change the way that things are currently run.




Have I lost you yet? I’m sure you are thinking, “OKAY. That’s interesting Lio, but, what does this have to do with me?” As South African consumers, we are all excited by the influx of international retailers, and a little bit more choice in how we express ourselves via the wardrobe. Don’t worry, no one is asking you to break up with your favourite label. But, what is strongly encouraged is to engage with the retailers that you love to support and forge a dialogue about their practices. It’s as simple as this: If more consumers demand better practices… Fashion Retailers will have to move towards those practices. This is the long-term game.



Within the control of each one of us on the daily is the advice of none other than Vivienne Westwood herself: “Buy Less. Choose Well. Make It Last”. Not too complex, right? It’s simply a case of being considerate of what you consume. This will save both our planet and your pocket. Need some guidance? Consider the following:


– Buying new? Buy Local. Put money in the pockets of your
– Thrift
– Repair, upcycle, revive, reinvent.


Photo Credit: Liza du Plessis / @osmosisliza


Fashion Revolution: #Who Made My Clothes?

KZNSA Gallery has become the home of the Fashion Revolution for the month of May. And between you, me and the internet… This happens to be the biggest event in the country hosted by Fashion Revolution volunteers. If you missed the opening, fret not! The show will be open until the 20th of May. Running alongside the Tolerance Travelling Poster Show, which launched at Design Indaba this year, and includes the works of some serious graphic design heavyweights… a visit this week is highly recommended.


Be Curious. Find Out. Do Something.
Eco-anxiety love and kisses,
Lio xo


First Thursday at KZNSA alongside the Fashion Revolution

Photo Credit: Llwellyn Makhanya aka Juice the Giant / @thejuicephoto


Photo Credit: Llwellyn Makhanya aka Juice the Giant / @thejuicephoto

Photo Credit: Llwellyn Makhanya aka Juice the Giant / @thejuicephoto

Leave A Comment