“We believe in a fashion industry that values people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure. Our mission is to bring everyone together to make that happen.” – Fashion Revolution
Whether or not you consider yourself a fashionista, unless you’re part of a nudist colony, you still need to get dressed every day. Depending on your sartorial inclinations, when shopping for new clothes you may consider whether a particular outfit is on trend, whether it fits you comfortably and is appropriate for the occasion, or whether it’s worth the price tag. But how many of us consider how the people who made the clothes were treated?
According to Carry Somers, UK based ethical designer and founder of the global Fashion Revolution movement and second annual Fashion Revolution Day coming up on April 24th, 2015, too few consumers are connected to how their clothes are made and the people who make them.
“It takes a lot to make a garment. Not just the bits we hear about – the designers, the brands, the shops, the catwalk shows and the parties – but also the farmers who grow cotton, the ginners, spinners, weavers, dyers, sewers and other factory workers without whom the industry would not exist. These people, the people who make our clothes are hidden from us, often at their own expense.”
A Conscious Response to Rana Plaza
Along with other concerned ethical fashion pioneers, Carry launched Fashion Revolution last year in response to the April 24, 2013 Rana Plaza sweatshop factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh. During the collapse, 1133 garment workers were killed and 2500 injured while manufacturing clothes in a condemned building. For Carry and fellow members of the Fashion Revolution, enough is enough. For us, the Rana Plaza disaster is a metaphorical call to arms to show the world that industry-wide change is needed.
Through a global coalition of committed designers, academics, writers, entrepreneurs, activists, politicians and even A-listers – Fashion Revolution calls for systemic reform of the fashion supply chain. Each year, Fashion Revolution drives forward a different consumer-facing campaign to tackle some of the fashion industry’s most pressing issues. Last year’s #insideout campaign called on consumers to wear their clothes inside out on April 24th. Fashionistas and concerned citizens around the world shared photos of their outfits on social media, helping Fashion Revolution become the #1 global trending topic on twitter and catalyze global awareness of justice and transparency in the fashion industry on behalf of all garment workers.
Fashion Revolution 2015 Theme: Who Made My Clothes? #FashRev
At the moment of purchase, most of us are unaware of the processes and impacts involved in the creation of a garment. By asking consumers, designers, brands, and all those who care to ask a simple question, “Who Made My Clothes?”, Fashion Revolution aims to help consumers, retailers and suppliers reconnect to the broken links in the supply chain – the people who make our clothes, shoes, accessories and jewelry, often in distant countries under inhumane working conditions – through positive narratives of actual laborers. Knowing who made our clothes requires transparency, and this implies openness, honesty, communication and accountability.
Through this year’s campaign theme, Fashion Revolution hopes to inspire a change in perspective that will lead to a deeper understanding that consumers aren’t just purchasing a garment or accessory, but an entire chain of value, relationships and human dignity. Where there is human dignity, there is hope that accidents like Rana Plaza will never have to happen again.
Join the Movement! Be a Fashion Revolutionary
Want to join the movement? It’s easy. Fashion Revolution invites you to start by being curious about who made your clothes. Take it a step further by actually finding out – call or write the manufacturer to learn who spun the threads, who sewed them together and who grew the cotton. Finally, you can do something. There are currently regional Fashion Revolution movements happening in over 60 different countries around the world. Take action locally by sharing the campaign with your community, hosting an event, or simply wearing your clothes inside out on April 24th, 2015.
Your clothes already tell a story about who you are. Now they can tell a better one.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Bianca Alexander is the Creative Director and EMMY© winning host of Conscious Living. Bianca is a certified yoga instructor and energy healer (2nd degree Reiki master). As a raw/vegan eco-fashionista and world traveler, she is committed to being on the life-long journey towards Conscious Living, one day at a time.