Review by Agata Mayer, Editor-in-chief
FAST FASHION IS NOT FREE. SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE IS PAYING…
I am more than sure you all have heard of the Fashion Revolution Day! Or maybe not…
Two years ago, photos of the unimaginable devastation at a clothes factory that collapsed in Bangladesh shocked the entire world.
1133 people died in the Rana Plaza catastrophe in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A further 2500 were injured. They were killed while working for familiar fashion brands. For me, one of the most surprising aspects of the Rana Plaza disaster was that, afterwards, many brands did not know whether or not they had been producing clothing within the building.
“We knew a disaster like this was going to happen,” Orsola de Castro, co-founder of Fashion Revolution Day, tells Mashable. “There were workers complaining about the infrastructure for months but were threatened with being fired if they did not show up to work. There was so much wrong that could have been prevented, which is what prompted outrage.”
“It’s a very unclear process, finding everything from fabrics and fibers to what the supply chains are. The truth is, the companies don’t want to know where their fabric is from. The less they know, the less responsibility they feel they need to have. We’re at the point where apparel brands need to be accountable.” said Linda Greer, senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and health director of Clean by Design.
THE TRUE COST!
Fashion Revolution is a global coalition calling for systemic reform of the fashion supply chain. It is the catalyst that brings together those who want to see change within the industry. It raises awareness of the true cost of fashion, showing the world that change is possible. It is a simple but important connection between us – fashion lovers and the people who made our clothes. Whether you are high street or high end, independent designer or a large brand, fashion lover, blogger or wherever you are in the world – you should join this initiative. It is about re-connecting broken links and celebrating the relationship between shoppers and the people who make our clothes, shoes, accessories and jewelry – all the things we call ‘fashion’.
“We aren’t just purchasing a garment or accessory, but a whole chain of value and relationships,” said the people behind Fashion Revolution.
Fashion Revolution is about building a future where an accident like this in Bangladesh never happens again. Last year this action reached number 1 trending worldwide on social media such as Twitter and got over 8 million Google hits. Fashion icons, celebrities, supermodels, artists, designers, academics, press, writers, business leaders and parliamentarians lent support to the campaign. This year, the movement was even bigger.
Business of Fashion hosts a special extended preview of the new film, The True Cost. Source: Fashion Revolution’s Fanpage
BE CURIOUS, FIND OUT and DO SOMETHING!
On Friday the movement was calling us all to upload a pic of our clothes inside out with a hashtag #whomademyclothes and #fashrev. Social media was being flooded with images of garments showing the labels to raise awareness of the true cost of fashion and to celebrate best practice. For instance, established designer Stella McCartney shared with her million-plus Instagram followers a picture of herself wearing a jacket from her collection inside out, with the caption: ‘Show your label and ask #whomademyclothes for Fashion Revolution Day’.
“If companies don’t know how and where their products are made, then there’s no way for them to ensure their workers are protected,” said Orsola de Castro, co-founder of the event. “Transparency is important because it shows a company’s willingness to be held accountable for its supply chain and this builds up public trust.” Fellow co-founder Carry Somers added: “The fashion industry supply chain is fractured and producers have become faceless. This is costing lives. We have incredible power as consumers, if we choose to use it.”
Knowing who made our clothes requires transparency, and this implies openness, honesty, communication and accountability. Changing the world is possible. By using the power of fashion we all are able to inspire a permanent change in the fashion industry and reconnect the broken links in the supply chain – the whole chain of value and relationships. In 2015 we focus on transparency. Why? Transparency is not that easy. It involves fully understanding how your business runs and with whom it works. This is a journey for our industry to celebrate those who are doing something about it. Transparency means that companies know who makes their clothes – at least where they are stitched as a first port of call – and then communicate this to their customers, shareholders and staff (in accordance to the Fashion Revolution Report).
HOW TO CHECK IF YOUR CLOTHING IS ETHICALLY MADE?!
Looking down at what you’re wearing now, do you exactly know who made it and where?
• Make a research where it’s from – even a simple web search
• Buy less, choose well, make it last
• Go vintage and try to exchange your clothes and accessories
• Reduce and recycle
• Buy organic – many companies started offering organic lines. By purchasing organic materials, you’re adding less to the landfills full of clothing that cannot decompose
The Fashion Culture Team encourage people. I personally encourage people to start asking ‘who made your clothes?’ in order to initiate human connections throughout the supply chain. By asking this question you support worker welfare. It is extremely important to stay focus and be curious. You have to remember that the Fashion Revolution Day is the day on which we all celebrate fashion as a positive influence, and all those who contribute to making it so. It will rally the innovators, the buyers, the shoppers, the media, the commentators, the activists and everyone in between. Everyone!