People who dream of being in the fashion industry dream in colour. Photoshoots in glamorous locations, camera shutters clicking wildly, sensual fabrics floating down a runway, dancing on the breeze or wrapped around alluring models. Fast, fun and furious. Not for the faint hearted, but a world a beauty, strength, innovation and creativity.
Rana Plaza Collapse in Bangladesh, 2013. Over 1, 100 workers were killed, mostly women and children.
But none of us go into this industry thinking 'fashion kills'?
I can still remember the first time I googled 'ethical fashion'. Reading pages and pages of articles with solid facts and figures clearly stating that the industry I loved was rotten to the core.
I felt robbed. Devastated. Destroyed.
I remember looking at my one year old twins playing obliviously on the floor with tears streaming down my face. I just couldn't get my head around the fact that we would allow a mother to send her child off to work as a slave instead of going to school. How soul destroying must that be for her? It's our job to protect our children. They don't even know they're being sent to their death. And for what? For us to be able to buy $5 t-shirts? What century are we living in?
Children aren't paid to pick cotton. They're taken out of school to do it or they're expelled. It's covered in poisonous pesticides. It makes them sick and sometimes even kills them.
The information I read that day rocked me to my core. I just can't 'unknow' this stuff. And the more I research, the stronger my resolve becomes.
This industry of fast fashion, throw away clothes, slavery, abuse and underprivilege needs to change. It's unethical to people, it's acceptable to animals and it's unsustainable to the planet.
My name is Kirsty Milligan and I am a shopaholic. It's been one of my addictions of choice for decades.
I have committed to stop shopping for any clothes or fashion accessories for one entire year.
Starting from the 1st of January, 2017.
I won't lie to you. I am worried about failure. I am worried about sharing this with you because then you'll know if I fail. And I'm worried most of all that it won't mean a damn thing when I'm done. Like a whisper in the wind.
My promise is to tell you all about how I'm going, what I've learnt, what was hard and what was easy. Just in case you're inspired to have a go too.
Here's one thing I can tell you for sure. When I stand quietly in the middle of a shopping centre and look as far as I can over my left shoulder, then as far as I can over my right and I know that every single thing that I can see has been made by a women or child who either wasn't paid enough to live, wasn't paid at all or died trying, it makes me feel sick.
So, please, come on this journey with me. I'm not asking you to stop shopping too. Just stay with me, help me be strong and reach my goals, and I promise to share with you everything I've done and everything I learn about the industry I love.