Fashion Revolution Week is on until April 28. There are many ways you can take part in this global movement. We’ll explore how a bit later in this article.
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In 2013 the world (of fashion) changed. Rana Plaza collapsed killing 1138 and injuring over 2500 human beings.
The building was house to many garment manufacturers.
This is not the first fashion supply scandal. But Rana Plaza was the deadliest garment-factory accident in history.
This incident is directly related to cheap clothes. Brands always try to squeeze manufacturing cost. As a result factories are not as careful as they should be in regards to worker safety and working conditions are horrible… sometimes deadly.
Add to that a constantly growing abuse of the planet in the golden age of fast fashion. You get a very strong cocktail for outrage.
Business as usual cannot keep going.
In the ashes of this disaster, a revolution is born.
FASHION REVOLUTION WEEK
The problem is that we keep forgetting how awful the fashion supply chain is.
…women are working hard to make our clothes
…for long hours
…for unbelievably low salaries
…in abusive work environments
…in unsafe factories
…using unsafe chemicals
…they have no right to unionize
Basically, the fashion supply chain sucks for many human beings who deserve better.
That’s why we need reminders.
Fashion Revolution Week is a big red blinking reminder for Rana Plaza. It happens every year.
During Fashion Revolution Week (April 22 to 28, 2019) you are invited to share a photo of the label you’re wearing while asking #WhoMadeMyClothes. It’s a push for supply chain transparency.
This encourages brands to share photos of garment workers using #imadeyourclothes and to constantly improve transparency by mapping out their supply chain.
Without transparency, there is no accountability, no change
In 2018 the hashtag #whomademyclothes was used 173 000 times during Fashion Revolution Week.
THE FIRST STEP IS TRANSPARENCY
How can we improve working conditions of garment workers if we don’t know where and who made our clothes.
The fashion supply chain is very obscure and complex.
Many brands, including us, are not able to map their entire supply chain.
I mean, I know where your Respecterre clothes have been made. I am in the factory right now located in Ham-Nord, Canada. I personally take part in making your clothes (#imadeyourclothes 😀 ).
But I don’t know where the cotton was grown. I have no idea where the hemp was degummed.
I don’t know the factories in which the bamboo was transformed into viscose / rayon (this is our goal for next year: to map our viscose supply chain).
Many brands don’t know about their own supply chain.
We have to work harder to get our suppliers’ suppliers list of suppliers.
This is a process.
THE SECOND STEP IS ACCOUNTABILITY
“ Transparency is a means to change, not an end. ”– Fashion Transparency Index 2018
Once there is enough supply chain public information for everyone to see. We can all work together to keep brands & manufacturer accountable in terms of :
■ human rights
■ gender equality
■ good living wages
■ safe working conditions
■ right to unionize
■ reasonable working hours
■ child labor
■ environment protection
Once brands see that no one buys their clothes because of the factories in which it was made. It won’t be long before you see change.
THERE IS NO PLANET B
The popular statement that fashion is the second most polluting industry in the world is actually not true.
There’s no metric to measure its environmental impact as a whole. So nothing can be confirmed.
But let’s just say it’s pretty bad.
It seems like Fashion Revolution is focusing more on social sustainability rather than environmental sustainability.
But the two are actually linked.
Polluting rivers and forests where humans live is also part of safe working and living environment.
Fashion Revolution is as much about sustainability as a whole.
FashionRevolution.org is a non-profit social enterprise and growing global movement. Its mission is to unite people and organizations to work together towards radically changing the way our clothes are sourced, produced and consumed, so that our clothing is made in a safe, clean and fair way.
After Rana Plaza, a bunch of designers and change makers in the U.K. started what has grown to become a worldwide movement active in 100 countries around the world.
If you have any interest in sustainable, ethical or fair trade fashion, you should definitely check out fashionrevolution.org. It’s gorgeous and full of reports and relevant information.
@fash_rev is pretty active on :
The YouTube channel is also pretty good → Fashion Revolution
They have some serious ethical fashion badasses in their line up.
Like Orsola De Castro. The most quotable human I’ve heard.
Wherever you are it’s likely there is a coordinator in your country.
For us, in Canada, @fash_revcan has its own website → fashionrevolution.ca
There are lots of events planned in Edmonton, Winnipeg and Calgary. I’ve seen a couple in Montreal on the main FashionRevolution.org website. But it doesn’t seem like there is a coordinator in Quebec.
Here’s how you can take part in this global movement :
1. Post on any social media using the hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes
2. Request Supply Chain Transparency from your favorite brands
3. Take part in local events : Clothes swaps, Screenings, Round tables, etc.
4. Become a Regional Coordinator
I don’t see any events in Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City, Regina, Etc.
You could be the one to organize those !
5. Become a Country Coordinator
If your country isn’t already on fashionrevolution.org
You can contact them to start the movement in your country.
6. Learn and keep learning about the social and environmental impact of fashion
What’s beautiful about this movement is we can all be part of it.
I am Fashion Revolution.
You are Fashion Revolution.
We are Fashion Revolution.
Be curious. Find out. Do something.
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Written by Ugo Dutil :
I grew up in the ecovillage Cite Ecologique. I like this way of life that values human relationships, sustainable development and personal growth. I’ve been working with Respecterre since 2013. Minimalism, #slowfashion and moving towards sustainability, especially in textiles, fascinate me.