You may or may not have heard about Fashion Revolution Week, either way I am here to tell you all about it and how you can get involved!
On 24th April 2013 the Rana Plaza garment factory located in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed killing 1138 garment workers and civilians, and injuring many more. This factory, like many others across the developing world produced clothing and textile products predominantly for the western market. Despite growing concerns aired by the garment workers about the safety of the building and their working conditions, the workers were forced to continue with their jobs until the fateful collapse killed them. All in the name of cheap, low quality clothing for western fashion-conscious consumers.
Out of this tragedy, a global movement was born to raise awareness of the inner workings of the fashion industry, and to bring together consumers, designers, producers and more to work together to create “a fashion industry that values people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure”. That movement is Fashion Revolution and each year on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, the movement comes together to hold a week packed full of events, seminars, awareness raising and celebration of those that are working to create positive change in one of the worlds most destructive industries.
Fashion Revolution week is for everyone, we all wear clothing, and this is our chance to delve a little deeper into how that clothing was made, who made it and whether we are comfortable with the answers to those questions. If we are not, then the movement offers a wealth of advice and support to enable you to make more sustainable choices.
So, do you want to get involved in the action? Here are three things you can do to join in:
Use your voice
Have a look through your wardrobe and pick out some of your favourite garments. Look at the labels as along with washing instructions they will often say where that item is made, but rarely will there be more detail than that. Once you have your chosen items, send an email, a message or a tweet to the brands that produced those garments and ask- Who made my clothes? There are templates for an email, Instagram post or tweet here.
Join a Fashion Revolution event
There are a whole range of events happening online this week, from seminars to workshops and informative talks. There are loads of events going on online and hosted in countries across the world, some of which have ticket costs and others that are by donation. Please check out the Fashion Revolution Calendar to find out more. There are also lots of awareness raising actions and live streams on social media which will be free of charge.
Support an ethical fashion brand
In these unsteady times, finances may be tight so perhaps you simply are not shopping at all. This in itself is a sustainable action! However, if you are finding yourself shopping online, why not explore some ethical and sustainable brands and makers and see if you can support one of those instead of a high-street brand or luxury label that is producing clothing in an unethical and environmental damaging way. Pebble Magazine have produced a really useful guide to help you to build a sustainable wardrobe.
I hope that this brief introduction into Fashion Revolution week has been informative. Keep an eye out for more blog posts and sustainable fashion advice from me throughout the week on my social media channels.