Who Made My Clothes? Minnesota Fashion Revolution Week 2019

An Open Letter To Ethical Fashion Lovers

Ethical Fashion Fashion Writer/Blogger: Kaylie O’Connor

Photography: Rodel Querubin

Dear Volk Readers,

Fashion + Feminism panel at the opening MN Fashion Revolution event Shaping Fashion featuring speakers/brands:  Maribel Lopez ,  Mindy Martell ,  Joy McBrien , and  Idil Hashi .

Fashion + Feminism panel at the opening MN Fashion Revolution event Shaping Fashion featuring speakers/brands: Maribel Lopez, Mindy Martell, Joy McBrien, and Idil Hashi.

As we reflect on the Rana Plaza collapse of April 24th, 2013, it can become very clear that there are still many companies who are not worried about the well-being of their workers, how their creations impact the planet or how easily some of these factors could be changed. We can become hyper-focused on what is not going right, instead of looking with hope at business owners who are making a difference.

The Twin Cities is at a pivotal point right now in their role in fashion. As businesses and bloggers continue to establish themselves here, there is an ever increasing focus on what people are wearing and who can be the most cutting edge. In one way, this is very exciting. Minneapolis is finally gaining notoriety as stylish and fashion forward city, but there is also ample opportunity to educate them on how their influence changes the course of history and to let clothing creators know that it is the wants of the consumer that dictate the clothing industry. 

Fashion Revolution Week, the precursor to MN Fashion Week, is a driving force in this change. Having launched one year after the Rana Plaza collapse, it is a fusion of United Kingdom and United States groups that strive to “unite people and organizations to work together towards radically changing the way our clothes are sourced, produced and consumed, so that our clothing is made in a safe, clean and fair way”. 

Learn more about the revolution:  https://www.fashionrevolution.org/

Learn more about the revolution: https://www.fashionrevolution.org/

Starting with the Shaping Fashion event that happened this past weekend, every slow fashion consuming, ethically minded, sustainability loving individual came together to support the cause that weighs on our hearts daily. From the panel discussions on secondhand styling, feminism in fashion and diversity/inclusion to a full out marketplace where you could meet local creatives and buy their merchandise (some of my personal favorites like Fair Anita, Niche Boutique, Way the Label and Tessa Louise were tabling), the answer to the question of who made my clothes was right there for anyone willing to hear.

Read more of Kaylie’s articles in an issue of the The Volk or at her blog:  theswelteringsweater.com

Read more of Kaylie’s articles in an issue of the The Volk or at her blog: theswelteringsweater.com

When I started the ethical style section of The Volk a year ago, these were the people I wanted to speak for. The thrift and vintage loving fashionistas, the entrepreneurs who took the high road and the hard road in their manufacturing process and the ethical consumer who chose to sacrifice a closet full of clothing and a little bit of money for a better world for themselves and others. I wanted to show that being trendy is more about individuality and a conscious decision rather than having a lot of stuff. I wanted to thank you all for a wonderful year of writing and promise you that this is only the beginning of The Volk’s ethical fashion journey.


Kaylie O'Connor is the main content creator for The Sweltering Sweater, a fashion blog that promotes companies specializing in ethical treatment and sustainable production. With more than 5 years of experience, Kaylie has collaborated with over 50 local and national companies to change the way that business owners create and market their products. Kaylie believes that you should feel good about where your clothing came from and how you look in it. To stay updated on Kaylie's current fashion favorites, follow her on Instagram @theswelteringsweater or subscribe to her blog at theswelteringsweater.com