Who made my clothes?
Something to think about
Do you remember the horrendous accident 7 years ago at the Rana Plaza Factory in Bangladesh when 1,138 garment workers were killed and 2,500 others were injured? The building housed 5 clothing factories employing 5,000 people which confirms the truth that not only is the fashion industry the second most polluting industry in the world, but also the majority of the 40 million people who make clothes live in extreme poverty, unable to afford life’s basic necessities. Many are exploited, abused and enslaved. And most of these workers were young women (which was expected because women make up 85% of the global textile workforce).
As a result of this horrendous incident, a movement, ‘Fashion Revolution’, was birthed with the hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes? because, for a global business that is worth £230 billion, there have been countless reports that reveal how damaging today’s ‘Fast Fashion’ culture is to both the most vulnerable people on earth and the earth itself. The movement has encouraged everyone to start asking real questions about the industry.
However, this is just one of the ‘battles’ we face as followers of Jesus. Every day we face choices and struggles that require us to “ take our stand against the devil’s schemes” as Paul reminds us in Ephesians 6.
Our focus should not be on the material clothes we wear but on clothing ourselves in righteousness and salvation...and in the spiritual armour that Paul speaks of. Our priority is His kingdom and this will cause us to be in a spiritual war against the 'rulers..authorities...and powers of this dark world'.
One of those pieces of spiritual armour is the ‘belt of truth’ - what some call the ‘believer’s integrity’. A soldier in Paul’s day had a leather belt around his waist that protected him and held his tunic together. In our armour, it is our integrity in all things that hold everything we believe, say and do together. Including how we shop and what we wear.... have you got your ‘belt of truth’ firmly fastened?
Something to do
Things to consider:
- Ask the questions of our clothing – here is it made? Who makes them? Are their working conditions safe and do the workers get a living wage?
- What about shopping in charity shops? Take the ‘30-wear’ pledge. Before you buy something, ask yourself: 'Will I wear it a minimum of 30 times?'
- Can I encourage you to pray on your spiritual armour every morning?