Ethics in fashion?
The answer to these questions summarises my work, beliefs and why I started to engage with different attitutes and actions towards my daily routine, changing my goals and my perspective of the world.
I am vegan, however for many years I was only vegetarian. I was used to consuming milk and cheese, thinking I could not ever give up of such good delicacies: pizza, pies, pastries, cheese toast, my daily cappucino or just simple snacks of cheese on crackers. I thought I was happy with dairy products…until I finally faced the reality.
Ancient Medical History is full of deceptions that have since fell into disrepute in modern days: doctors spitting on wounds because was believed that spit had healing properties; or trepanation, where the doctor used to drill the patient’s skull to treat health problems.
The myth about “drinking milk is good for the bones and overall body” is another deception. In reality cow’s milk can increase calcium loss on the bones.
“Like all animal protein, milk acidifies the body pH which in turn triggers a biological correction. You see, calcium is an excellent acid neutralizer and the biggest storage of calcium in the body is – you guessed it… in the bones. So the very same calcium that our bones need to stay strong is utilized to neutralize the acidifying effect of milk. Once calcium is pulled out of the bones, it leaves the body via the urine, so that the surprising net result after this is an actual calcium deficit.” by The Save Institute
Some mainstream practitioners still ignore these facts, recommending dairy products in our diet, cooperatively with other drugs in case of osteoporosis disease. There are other natural and better sources of calcium such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, peas, beans or lentils.
Studies say that the regular absortion of certain foods can help you achieve 1000 miligrams calcium, which is the average amount for an adult. A cup of tofu has approximatelly 861mg; half a cup of dry oats has 200 miligrams of calcium, where it is possible to add between 300mg and 400mg of calcium with almond milk; one and a half cups of chickpeas have between 315 miligrams of calcium;a mixed salad with dark green leafs can provide over 500 miligrams of calcium.
All these foods have more calcium than a cup of milk, which only has approximatelly 300mg. By ingesting these foods we are improving our general health and bone issues in a better way than just consuming dairy products.
Plus, do you know how the milk is provided?
Cows, like us, like to play with e acknowledgedh other and they nurture they calves just like a human mother takes care of her baby. However, in the dairy industry most of the cows don’t have the possibility to interact with each other or with their calves, being confined to small places while they are stimulated with antibiotics and hormones in order to produce more and more milk.
Cows produce milk with the same purpose as humans: to feed their babies. However, after giving birth they lactate for 10 months and then they are inseminated again, repeting the cycle. Their living conditions are atrocious, being forced to stand the majority of their lives, being rippe from their calves and spending all their lives being “raped” for the sake of the milk industry.
I changed my diet for the ones without a voice. I changed because of the animals, knowing that I could be part of a minority that hopefully in the future could increase their voice and consequently, animal’s rights.
In university, while I studied about sustainability and fast fashion, I was faced with another critical aspect, the fast fashion business.
As a fashionista myself, every week I planned my journey to the high street stores in order to buy the new trends and collections, discarding old clothes that I almost never used as a fear of looking ‘uncool’.
With my research I found out that fast fashion clothes are made based on the premise high volume/ less quality, being full of hazardous chemicals that can deteriorate our health. Also, these clothes are made with synthethic, petroleum-based fibres, taking decades to decompose.
Nevertheless, with around 52 micro seasons, the clothes are designed to be “on trend” for just a couple of months maximum, being compulsively substituted with new designs. This process, cooperatively with fashion marketing, creates pressure and fear into one’s mind, forcing a visit to the shop to buy more “in trend” pieces to fight the horror of social alienation.
Beads and sequins?
On 2008, BBC1 recorded “Panorama: Primark on the Rack” which demonstrates poor worker conditions, child labour, low wages, excessive work hours and unfair work in refugees camps.
Beading is a process that demands specialized machines, which are often expensive and can only be purchased by garment factories. Some overseas factories can’t afford the investiment, forcing the workers into a fast-paced working rhythm where the majority are children, due to their small hands which can easily sew sequins and beads.
In conclusion, through my research and curiosity, I became a more conscious consumer. I don’t want to live my daily routine knowing that what I wear or consume are products of injustice or torture. I am still educating myself, something that should never stop, about buying less, buying used and always asking myself “Where did this come from?” “Who made this?”.
Education and information are essential, and it is up to us to become the pioneers of change.
“Matrix” photo shoot directed by me Taja_asiul