It's Fashion Revolution week from 22-28th April 2019.
On the 24th of April it is the 6th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1,138 people and injured 2,500 more in 2013, Fashion Revolution are asking everyone to ask brands #whomademyclothes and demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain.(1)
The more people who ask #whomademyclothes, the more brands will listen.
What can we do to make a fashion revolution, and why does it even matter?
"Our clothes have gone on a long journey before they hit store shelves, passing through the hands of cotton farmers, spinners, weavers, dyers, sewers and others. Approximately 75 million people work to make our clothes. 80% of them are women between the ages of 18 and 35.
However, the majority of the people who makes clothes for the global market live in poverty, unable to afford life’s basic necessities. Many are subject to exploitation; verbal and physical abuse, working in unsafe and dirty conditions, with very little pay." (1)
With about 97% of our clothes now made overseas, we have become disconnected from the people who actually make our clothes.(2)
Honestly I cannot sum up why we need a fashion revolution better than Fashion Revolution themselves, so please go check out the whole article below about why it is so necessary and crucial. But in essence, the way that we now source, produce and consume fashion is damaging to the environment and to people.
We currently don't know enough about the impact of fashion on the people involved in sourcing and producing them, and the impact on the planet. We need greater transparency. On social media you may see the commonly used phrase "fashion is the second most polluting industry on the planet" - but what it that based on? On water use, water pollution, carbon emissions, land use etc?
We need transparency to know how big the problem is and to be able to come up with a solution that is suitable and able to fit the specific problems. Transparency is essential for this. Transparency allows us to shine a light on critical issues and areas where brands are falling short, and this in turn allows brands to correct those problems.
More worryingly the lack of transparency isn't just with the consumer. Often the lack of transparency we see is because there is no transparency in the company itself - meaning they don't even know who is making their clothes.
Whether you care about the environment, sustainability, human rights, social justice or equality, we all need to acknowledge that we need a fashion revolution.
So how do I get involved?
Here are a few ideas:
- Educate yourself - we can't help fix what we don't understand.
- Watch The True Cost on Netflix to see the impact of fast fashion.
- Send an email (or better a hand written letter) to a brand.
- Use your voice on twitter.
- Post on instagram.
- Contact your local MP or policy maker.
- Get your friend and family involved - how about tagging them in your posts?
- Share your own #haulternative challenge without buying new clothes.
For more details of how specifically to get involved, check out: https://www.fashionrevolution.org/about/get-involved/
This Fashion Revolution Week let's get involved and cause a revolution!