Fashion Revolution begins on April 24th, marking four years since the biggest industrial disaster to ever hit the fashion industry- the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh. This resulted in over 1100 lost lives and thousands more changed forever.
Although we should always be aware of where our clothes come from and who made them, it is particularly important this week for us to reflect on what occurred on that fateful day and what circumstances led to such a massive disaster.
What is a Fashion Revolution?
The Fashion Revolution campaign was created in response to this tragedy, in order to bring more attention to the fact that there are actual people who make our clothes, that their lives and stories are important and that they shouldn’t be forgotten.
Consumers often feel helpless and believe that they do not have the power to tackle any of the problems within the industry, or take on the giants of fast fashion. The Fashion Revolution focuses on the small acts that we as regular consumers can do everyday, in order to make sure that the fashion industry becomes safer and values the people behind what we wear.
It does this by calling on consumers to ask “Who made my clothes?” This simple question can lead people on a journey through the industry and discover the literal blood, sweat and tears that goes into garment construction. After this journey, people become more aware, better informed and thus more powerful to make more ethical fashion choices.
What you can do!
To help you on your way, the Fashion Revolution campaign suggests the following seven ways in which you can participate and make positive changes within the industry:
- Ask Who Made My Clothes? Take a photo of your clothing label and ask the brand or retailer #whomademyclothes. Use your voice to make the brands listen and become transparent.
- Write a letter to a brand. Ask them what they are doing towards paying fair, ethical wages. Use this template from the Fashion Revolution website.
- Write a postcard to a policymaker. Ask them what they are doing to create a safer, cleaner and more transparent fashion industry.
- Create a love story: Share your love to the world about your favourite item of clothing. Something that you could never bear to part with!
- Try a Haulternative: There are different varieties of this challenge, such as DIY or vintage, and they all encourage you to update your wardrobe without buying new clothes. A much more ethical and sustainable way to get your fashion fix!
- Go to an event: There are plenty of events happening around the world during this week. Take a look and get involved. Or host your own!
- Donate to the Fashion Revolution movement. Help it grow stronger to increase transparency in the fashion industry and influence change.
With this, I challenge you this week to begin your own journey into discovering who made your clothes. Something has to change. It is up to us as consumers to demand that brands provide us with more ethical and sustainable fashion choices. Use your voice and if the big fashion brands want our money, they better damn well listen!
For more information and downloads for each of these activities, download the Fashion Revolution guide for getting involved.