During last thirty years, the design and manufacturing of clothing has gone global. Production has shifted to foreign, third-world factories with little regulation of environmental, worker or societal impacts. Hence the media has been saturated with news items of the devastating effects of poor environmental and social conditions caused by this shift in production to third world counties. Stories of forced child labor, treacherous working conditions and toxic pollutants poisoning communities appear regularly.
In fact, a group of workers in China recently threatened a mass suicide if working conditions are not improved. These horrible conditions are gross violations of the social contract these companies have with their workers, and consumers.
But what can the average person do? How can I make difference amidst these global trends? This is the reason we started Filthy Rebena – to offer consumers an alternative; to provide our friends and neighbors with a way to participate in fashion trends in a manner that is cost effective, healthy and better for our planet and communities. Purchasing recycled clothing is not only trendy; it provides peace of mind knowing that you are making a statement about the manner in which your purchase is produced and how the profits are reinvested into the community. Your Purchase Matters!
Fast fashion is a fashion concept invented in the early 1980’s and it is based upon the concept of “Fast Food”. If you understand the concept of Fast Food – that is food that offers few custom options, consistent is taste and texture, is mass produced and has a low unit process, then you understand Fast Fashion. Like Fast Food, Fast Fashion is cheaply made, addictive and unsustainable. Fast Fashion is the hamburgers, French Fries and Twinkies of the fashion world. The Fast Fashion concept is designed to tempt consumers to buy far more than they need. In turn, the trends in fashion are changing much more quickly. Clothing stores are now introducing a new line every four to eight weeks. As an example, one clothing line manufacturer introduces a new line of clothing every two weeks. Garments are for sale at prices that on the surface seem very inexpensive. However, the product itself is also inexpensively made – poor quality, exploitative working conditions and with no concern for the environment or the long-term effects of the community in which the products are made or sold.
As a company committed to recycling and bringing back to life vintage clothing, Filthy Rebena is clearly engaged in the sustainable economy. However, we seek to take sustainability to the next level buy recycling vintage clothing made in western democratic counties with strong environmental and worker protection laws. Whenever possible, we also recycle union-made vintage clothing, thereby ensuring the customer that their purchases were made supporting democratic workplaces.
The bottom line is that Filthy Rebena customers can be sure that their purchases are supporting efforts to promote sustainable practice thereby ensuring the quality of the garment, the protection of the workers that produce the clothing and that that the products support the communities in which they are produced and sold.
As fashion consumers, the allure of Fast Fashion is appealing as the up-front cost appears to be cheap. However, because the fashion trends change so quickly, the up-front cost is masked by the need to spend more to stay trendy and the cost of exploiting workers, the environment and the overall society is hidden. At Filthy Rebena, we know that making a conscience decision to purchase recycled clothes costs a little more on the front-side and we greatly appreciate the efforts our customers make to ensure their purchases are not only fashionable, but make the environment and our society a little bit better in the process. The bottom line is that your purchase matters and we appreciate your business!