Fashion Revolution Week

Whomademyclothes2On 24th April 2013 the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed killing 1133 people and injuring around 2500. This was the fourth largest industrial disaster in history. The Rana Plaza building contained 5 garment factories, all making clothes for Western brands. Fashion Revolution was born as a result of this disaster.

Fashion Revolution is a movement trying to change the fashion industry into an industry that values people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measures. Fashion Revolution wants us as consumers to change the way we think about fashion and demand better from the brands we buy from. They want a cleaner, safer, fairer, more transparent and more accountable fashion and textiles industry.

Ever since I watched The True Cost film last year I have become more and more interested in learning about my clothes and where they came from. I have already spoken about The True Cost film on this blog so please go and read that post to find out more (read The True Cost here). This film opened my eyes to the truth behind fast fashion; the way the garment workers are treated and the poor pay and conditions, the fact that fashion is the second largest polluter (second only to oil and gas) and the way the industry is designed to make us buy new clothes every week.
This film completely changed the way I viewed my wardrobe and led to me starting my capsule wardrobe (read about my fashion journey here). I wanted to ensure I was buying less and only buying what I needed, rather than another cheap top which I probably wouldn’t wear anyway.

buylessThe fashion industry needs to change if it is to become a force for good. We as consumers have to change the way we think about what we wear and why we wear it. We need to start loving our clothes again, looking at them as precious heirlooms rather than disposable items. Clothes and fashion are important parts of our identity, our clothes are our chosen skin. What we wear represents how we feel about ourselves and how we want to world to view us. Fashion is a way for us to tell the world who we are.

The problem is we don’t know anything about our clothes. A lot goes into making our clothes much of which we don’t hear about. Yes, we know about the designers, the brands, the shops, the catwalk shows and glamorous parties but we don’t know about the cotton farmers, spinners, weavers, dyers, sewers and other factory workers who make the clothes we love. This side of fashion is hidden. Not only do we know nothing about who makes our clothes, they don’t know who buys the clothes they make. The fashion industry needs to become more transparent to reconnect these broken links, creating a chain of value and relationships.

fastfashionI don’t know about you but I love to know where my food comes from. I love going to the farmers market and speaking to the people who raised the animals and grew my food. I can learn about every aspect of the food chain. Even in the big supermarkets, they tell you where your food came from, sometimes even telling you the name of the farmer. But can you find out where your clothes came from and who made your clothes? Yes, there is a label inside which tells you the country the final product was sewn together, but it doesn’t tell you anything about where the raw materials are from or who was involved in making the garment.

So why are we so oblivious to where our clothes come from, we wear them every day surely we should know more about them? This is where Fashion Revolution comes in. Next week is Fashion Revolution week (18th – 24th April) and they are asking us to be curious about where our clothes come from. Ask yourself:

  • Who made this?
  • Where?
  • With what pay and conditions?
  • With what environmental consequences?
  • What kind of lives do the garment workers live?
  • Do things have to be like this?
  • What can I do as a consumer?

Fashion Revolution want us to share a picture of our clothes with the label showing (wear them inside out) and tag the brand asking #whomademyclothes. If we as consumers start asking more about where our clothes come from brands will have to act.

Whomademyclothes
Currently, a lot of brands don’t even know where their clothes are made. The Behind the Barcode Fashion Report found that 48% of brands hadn’t traced the factories where their garments were made, 75% didn’t know where their fabrics came from and 91% didn’t know where the raw materials came from. This needs to change and the whole industry needs to become more transparent.

If you want to find out more about Fashion Revolution check out their website here, they also have lots of events running across the country for Fashion Revolution week which you’ll find details of on the website. Remember to post your picture of your clothes label, thanking whoever made the garment tagging in the brand and using the #whomademyclothes. Keep an eye on my Instagram for my picture.

If you want to learn more about the dark side of the fast fashion industry I highly recommend watching The True Cost. Everyone I know who’s seen the film has spoken about the impact its made on them. The True Cost is available on Netflix, Amazon Instant Video and iTunes. There are also lots of screenings taking place across the country. Visit www.truecostmovie.com to find out more.

I also recommend reading Lucy Siegle’s book ‘To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing out the World?’ if you want to go a little deeper. You can purchase the book here.

Have you ever thought about where your clothes come from and who made them? Read about Fashion Revolution week and support ethical fashion

 

2 Comments

  1. April 19, 2016 / 9:46 pm

    This was really interesting. Just a few days ago I watched the "The True Cost" documentary and that left me thinking. I myself buy almost all my clothing from fast fashion stores. I have started thinking that it's way better to save a bit more money and splurge on something of good quality and made ethically correct, respecting the people who made the garments. I'm new to your blog, just saw your post retweeted on Twitter, gonna follow and read some more of your posts 🙂

    Lu From Mars – Daydreams and Daily Happenings

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