As many of you will be aware, the last week in April was Fashion Revolution Week, a global campaign calling for more transparency in fashion supply chains.
Fashion Revolution was set up by designers Cary Somers and Orsola de Castro, in direct response to the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex in Bangladesh on 24th April 2013. The collapse killed 1,134 people and injured 2,500 others and highlighted to the world the low wages and dangerous working conditions suffered by garment workers in India.
Clothing supply chains are complex and can involve many countries and many phases of textile production. The Rana Plaza collapse made headline news, but for every ‘newsworthy’ story there are hundreds of other stories of poverty and abuse of workers within the fashion and clothing industry. And unacceptable working conditions and ‘slave labour’ exist, not just in the developing world but in parts of Europe too.
The team behind Fashion Revolution Week organised many activites worldwide including hosting ‘open studios’ inviting people into the workshops of Stella McCartney, Vivenne Westwood, Eileen Fisher, Veja and others who are happy to submit their processes to public scrutiny.
Their aim is a Three-Fold Change –
a. Change the Model, ie the way clothing is produced and consumed.
b. Change the Material – chemicals used in growing, dyeing and cleaning fabric are polluting rivers worldwide; tonnes of clothing is being taken to landfill every year; and through increasing mass production we are in danger of losing artisanal craftsmanship and human skills. In addition, according to the Carbon Trust clothing accounts for around 3% of the global production of CO2 emissions.
c. Change theMindset of the consumer.
Fashion Revolution’s campaign #whomademyclothes, is one way of encouraging a change in mindset. The campaign has been trending on social media for some time now and in 2017, over 100,000 people asked brands this question. Putting a name and a face to the production of clothing is helping to humanise this fundamental part of the supply chain. Continue reading “Fashion Revolution Week – and Responsible Shopping.”