One year after the devastating collapse of a Bangladesh clothing factory, which killed 1,138 people, today marks Fashion Revolution Day, a new campaign that aims to change the way we think about shopping.
The tragedy at Rana Plaza factory brought international attention to Bangladesh’s four million garment workers and their role in the fashion industry, with the many factories sewing and producing clothing sold by brand names worldwide, including, sadly, many of our high street favourites.
The fatalities exposed how South Asia’s economy depends heavily on the unsafe conditions, low salaries and worker abuse in the industry. Something the Fashion Revolution aims to bring to an end by raising awareness about the true costs of fashion, and making consumers aware of the extreme processes behind their purchases.
Fashion Revolution campaigners say on their website: “This terrible accident is a symptom of the broken links across the fashion industry: we don’t know how things are made anymore. For Fashion Revolution, the Rana Plaza collapse has been a metaphorical call to arms. It has acted as a catalyst for those of us wanting to see change and demanding that the fashion industry takes a leading role in achieving it.”
What’s the aim of the new annual campaign? “We believe knowing who made our clothes is the first step in transforming the fashion industry. Knowing who made our clothes requires transparency, and this implies openness, honesty, communication and accountability. It’s about re-connecting broken links and celebrating the relationship between shoppers and the people who make our clothes, shoes, accessories and jewellery – all the things we call fashion.”
So, what can we, as consumers, do to make a difference? Follow these steps:
Be Curious… about how your clothes are made. Look at the labels and find out who made them and where they were produced. Was it made in a sweatshop? If so do you really want to buy it and encourage slave labour?
Find out… IDiscover the real people throughout the supply chain. If in doubt contact the brand. Send them a photo/video of your garment on Facebook/Twitter and ask: “Who Made Your Clothes?” Let Fashion Revolution know by tagging it with #InsideOut and @Fash_Rev.
Do something… Be part of the revolution and help raise awareness. Tweet today, on Fashion Revolution Day about what ethical clothes you are wearing. Encourage your friends to source ethical clothes and to find out where their purchases are coming from. The Ethical Fashion Forum’s SOURCE platform has a wealth of resources to help you source more sustainably.
Remember top think before you buy.