Today is April 24th, two years ago the Rana Plaza factory complex in Bangladesh collapsed. More than 1,100 people where killed and over 3,000 people were injured. After the accident happened the world was faced with the truth about the conditions in which people are forced to work in. The story stuck around on the news for about a week or two, with some lingering facebook posts about one photo that was released. Since the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory very little has changed in the fashion, garment and textile industry. (This also goes for the food supply chain and any product production chain). In an effort to try and change these industries Fashion Revolution was created. My heart aches thinking about how almost everything I own (except my fair trade pieces, etc that I began buying 7 years ago) were created in unsafe working conditions, created by people who aren’t valued by the companies that hired them and created while destroying our only home. When I wrote my blog post 10 Steps to Becoming and Ethical and Conscious Consumer I wrote about how I never thought about where my products came from and frankly I never cared. It wasn’t until I worked with a great organization like Mercy Corps that I really began to understand the hidden horrors of these industries.
WE BELIEVE IN FASHION – AN INDUSTRY WHICH VALUES PEOPLE, THE ENVIRONMENT, CREATIVITY AND PROFITS IN EQUAL MEASURE, AND IT’S EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THAT THIS HAPPENS.
The mission of Fashion Revolution Day is to raise awareness of the true cost of fashion and that we are capable of the revolutionizing this industry. Along the way, we will be celebrating every small & big win, and those who are paving the way towards a more sustainable future. If you know a company who is doing amazing things and are connecting you with their workers, please go thank them and tell your friends about them. The focus of Fashion Revolution Day is about the transparency of the supply chain. Knowing exactly who is making your clothes, knowing the conditions they’re working in and knowing the type of relationship the company is building with this person. We want to live in a world where there will never be another Rana Plaza and companies intentionally work to make that happen. Transparency is scary for companies but it’s necessary.
Today I’m challenging you to be curious about where your clothes and products come from, find out & research as much as you can about who makes your clothes & what the production chain of these items look like, and finally do something about it. Always question companies and demand them to be transparent. Do not accept no answer. There are companies out there who are creating relationships and communities with their workers so there is no excuse anymore. When you refuse their lack of an answer you’re holding them accountable there will be a systemic reform of this industry.
To make the most out #Fashrev, here are a few things that I’ve gathered that you can do today and going forward. Most of these resources came from Fashion Revolution and if you are looking for more click here.
This is an interview with Aklima Khanam, who is a survivor of the Rana Plaza factory collapse. This was a panel hosted by Greenheart International and Chicago Fair Trade. Please watch and share!
“The True Cost”| official trailer
I would highly recommend pre-ordering the movie ($10). The True Cost discusses what the real cost of your $5 t-shirt is and who is actually paying the price for it: factory workers and the environment, just to name a few.
TED Talks | Sustainable Fashion is a Shared Responsibility
BBC Radio | Fast Fashion – Affordable or Exploitative [broadcast]
United Nations Global Compact/BSR | A Guide to Traceability: A Practical Approach to Advance Sustainability in Global Supply Chains
International Labor Rights Forum | Deadly Secrets
UN Global Compact | The Global Corporate Sustainability Report 2013
Fair Trade Foundation | Impact of Fairtrade Cotton
Take Part | This Girl Walked Through Fire So We Can Get Jeans for $9
The Guardian | A Sustainable Model for Fashion
The Guardian | Why Sustainable Supply Chains Make Business Sense
Business of Fashion | Stripped Bare: Brands Move Towards Transparency and Traceability
-Commit today to ask your favorite brands #Whomademyclothes?
I love to shop at Victoria’s Secret but I have no idea where my clothes come from so I’m committing to calling Limited Brands (their parent company) and ask them Who Made My Clothes today, as well as encouraging them to become more transparent.
-Throughout the year continue the discussion use #fashrev when you tweet or instagram about related topics
-Today as you use social media use #whomademyclothes to ask your favorite brands who is directly linked to what you’re wearing.
-Start purchasing from companies that support a more sustainable business model. Thrift before buying new and if it can’t be thrifted, buy it to last you a long time.
-Let your favorite sustainable and ethical brands know that you support their work and appreciate it!
What have you done for Fashion Revolution Day? Have you had any great chats with friends or coworkers?
Thank you to Fashion Revolution for all the wonderful photos and resources!