Do you know who made your clothes?
The Fashion Revolution campaign was conceived when the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed on 24 April 2013. Known as one of the largest industrial disasters, 1,138 people died and another 2,500 were injured. Rana Plaza manufactured clothing for some of the biggest international brands and the victims were mostly young women. The campaign is celebrated during Fashion Revolution Week where brands, producers and consumers are encouraged to respond with the hashtags #imadeyourclothes or #whomademyclothes to demonstrate transparency in the production chain. Fashion Revolution is a global movement calling for a fairer, safer, and more transparent fashion industry. The campaign is aimed to promote the necessity for a more accountable industry, where safety and dignity should be a basic right, not a privilege.
Filtering through the hands of cotton farmers, spinners, weavers, dyers, sewers and others, your clothes go through a whole chain of events before it reaches your favourite store. It is estimated that approximately 75 million people work to make our clothes and 80% of them are women. Labourers live in poverty and are exploited on many levels. According to Fashion Revolution “companies must increase sales growth and make profits in order to succeed — but not at the expense of peoples’ working conditions, health, livelihoods, dignity and creativity, and not at the expense of our natural environment”.
Too many people have been exploited and lost their lives and change is long overdue. The campaign encourages people to skillfully use the power of fashion to make an impact on the world around us. In the last 20 to 30 years the speed at which clothing is produced and consumed is phenomenal. This has increased factory disasters and for the past decade, costs to produce apparel have risen, but despite the higher cost of production, the price for clothing is cheaper than ever. The environment is also taking a huge a knock. The chemicals used to grow, dye, launder and treat our clothes are detrimental to the environment.
We are obsessed with consuming and our behaviour is having a negative impact on too many lives. Fashion Revolution encourages us to “buy less, buy better and keep asking questions about the realities behind what we’re purchasing. We need to love the clothes we already own and work harder to make them last. We deserve to know who makes our clothes and under what conditions”. During Fashion Revolution Week, you are encouraged to ask #whomademyclothes? The campaign runs throughout the year, but is celebrated during the week of 24 – 30 April.
Cover via Fashion Revolution Org*