Ruth MacGilp is one of the best in terms of sustainable fashion blogging. Winning Scottish Blogger of the year in 2016 and a runner up in Sustainable Online Business of the Year, at the Herald Fashion Awards in 2017, it is clear that Ruth knows what she is talking about.
After having many blogs as a teenager, she began the one she has now, self-titled, Ruth MacGilp. Fashion has always been something that Ruth has had an interest in and through time, her blog morphed into something that was much more focussed on the ethical side of fashion.
Moving into sustainable and ethical fashion was a slow transition for Ruth, one she really took the time and educated herself on.
During our chat, Ruth specifically mentioned the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013 as a big factor in her move to sustainable fashion.
In case you are unsure of what the heck we are talking about, the Rana Plaza disaster happened in 2013 in Bangeladesh where a 6 story factory collapsed, killing 1,138 people and injuring many more. This factory was a clothing factory. In places like Bangeladesh, where the ready-made garment sector employs over 4 million people, it highlighted just how blind we have all been to the dangers these people are in whilst barely making a living.
Ruth told me that the aftermath of this disaster left and the effects it began to have in the mainstream media bled into her own writing and consumption habits, whilst also fuelling her want to educate others on this as well.
With a following of over 3,000 people on Instagram, Ruth has most certainly stayed true to her want to educate people on sustainable fashion. For 1 week, Ruth used her platform to post staggering facts about fast fashion and the negative impacts that this industry has.
However, like all of us, Ruth was not born into ethical fashion brands and is very honest and transparent of the fact that, of course, she still has clothing pieces from high street brands and will wear them on occassion.
I asked her if she felt that it was ever difficult to be promoting such a stark message all the time and if she ever felt any pressures from that.
Ruth does a lot of work with Fashion Revolution Scotland, a movement of people working to make the fashion industry a better and safer place for both the environment and the people who are making our clothes.
The Scotland team is just one small community of people, Fashion Revolution is a global movement with teams in almost every country across the world.
During her time studying Fashion Communication at Heriot Watt School of Textiles and Design, Ruth volunteered as a Student Ambassador for Fashion Revolution. This involved arranging many campaign activities such as clothes swaps among other things.
Now, having left university, she volunteers with Fashion Revolution Scotland on a more general level, working with people across Glasgow and Edinburgh to raise awareness for the movement by creating events and posting on social media, which is what Ruth is in charge of.
This is a busy time of year for Ruth and the team because Fashion Revolution Week is in April and it is no coincidence that, this year, it is on the 6th year anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster.
From the 22nd to the 28th of April, Ruth and Fashion Revolution are asking us to speak up and show the industry that the power is in our hands.
I asked Ruth what her advice would be to someone starting their journey into sustainable fashion.
With Fashion Revolution week in T minus 66 days, Ruth and the Fashion Revolution team are extremely busy trying to create a buzz and get people involved.
The whole mantra behind Fashion Revolution is to try and get brands to be more transparent in their supply chain and this begins with us, as the consumers.
Thank you to Ruth for being so lovely! All photo credits go to Ruth.
Ruth’s Website – www.ruthmacgilp.com
Fashion Revolution Scotland – Instagram