We are on Day 2 of what it means to be a Salt & Light girl. I loved the conversation we had yesterday, so let's continue it.
You might be an S&L girl if you've ever gotten a glimpse of the need for improved working conditions in the fashion industry and beyond. You might be asking yourself, "what does that even mean?" I get it. I felt the same way. I heard about it, but I didn't understand. I chose to turn my ear away because I didn't want to think about my purchases having an effect on someone else. My friend, and fellow ethical fashion advocate is here to tell us her story. You'll discover how she came to know what it means to be a part of the ethical fashion movement.
This is Tiffani and I can't wait for you to hear her story! She's been such a huge supporter in this journey and I'm so glad she was willing to write a little piece of her heart for you.
When I was a young girl I heard a missionary from Africa share his story. It was in that moment I remember falling in love with the continent and its people.
Fast forward a decade or so later and I heard about ethical fashion for the first time—paper bead jewelry made in Uganda. Beautiful pieces made from a country in Africa? Yes, please! It was love at first sight when I saw the beautiful artisan-made pieces. It was more than a piece of jewelry, there was a story behind them and I felt connected to the person that made it. Even still, I didn’t dig into WHY ethical fashion was so important.
Fast forward again. I kept hearing about a company with an ambassador opportunity. They had so many beautiful pieces that were ethically made in other countries. After seeing more and more about these pieces & their purpose, I finally asked my husband my husband permission to join this beautiful cause to which he lovingly said yes. This is where I have to pause for just a second and tell y’all that this beautiful cause and company is the reason I know Breanne!!! Okay back to my story...In being an ambassador I learned so much more about fair-trade and ethical fashion and it’s importance but I still didn’t grasp just how large the need was or why exactly it was important.
A year later I was told I needed to watch the documentary The True Cost by a fellow ethical fashion loving beauty.
THIS WAS THE EYE OPENING MOMENT FOR ME.
This documentary highlights the disaster of the Bangladesh garment factory collapse. I watched mother separated from her child. I watched family members lose their loved ones due to unsafe working conditions. I watched women cry and say they never wanted anyone to wear the clothes they made because their blood and sweat went into it, only to make $3 a DAY. Yes, I said a day. Some of them making only around $10 a month. My heart broke. I realized my purchases DO make a difference. I can purchase with a purpose.
Growing up a Christian I had always heard love your neighbor, love others, God loves everyone. I know those things to be true and to be His Word and to be what He desires for me to do. What I didn’t realize until watching this documentary was that I hadn’t been loving others nearly as well as I thought I had been. You see, I was blinded to what was happening overseas. It was in my ignorance that I was a part of the problem. My desire to buy cute clothes was hurting someone else. I was blinded to the unimaginable conditions MILLIONS of people were working in just so I could have inexpensive clothes.
After watching this documentary I knew I had to be the change. I had to be the person speaking up and making a difference. I had to be the person sharing why it’s so important to buy ethically made clothes—whether made by artisans in other countries working in fair, ethical conditions or made in the USA where the standards for labor are much higher. I had to be the change and you can be the change.
Together, we can create a thriving world.
Thank you so much for sharing with us Tiffani!
With that said, let us know your story!
Have you ever wondered why ethical fashion is important or can you tell us the moment it became important to you?