Words: Anna Victoria Eihenbauma
Photos: Fashion Revolution
This year marks the 4th anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh where over 1,000 people were killed and over 2,500 were injured. An eight-storey commercial building near Dhaka collapsed after garment factory owners ordered their workers to return to work despite warnings to avoid the building due to cracks in its structure. The Rana Plaza garment workers were producing clothing for European and North American high street brands when their workplace became life-threatening.
The tragedy caught international media attention and revealed the need for a reformed fashion industry. As a result of this disaster, the Fashion Revolution Movement was created.
Fashion Revolution is a non-profit organisation focused on campaigning towards greater transparency in the supply chains of the fashion industry. The international movement urges consumers to ask brands this seemingly simple question: Who made my clothes?
“The global fashion industry is opaque, exploitative and environmentally damaging and desperately needs revolutionary change. We love fashion, but we don’t want our clothes to come at the cost of people or our planet.”
- Fashion Revolution
Whilst working with multiple factories, suppliers and subcontractors at the same time, clothing brands are often unaware of how their products are actually being produced. Transparency in fashion would lead to improved monitoring and controlling of working conditions through all stages of the supply chain.
Asking brands to become more transparent means asking them to become more accountable. This way, companies can ensure that human rights are respected and that environmental guidelines are adhered to.
What started out as Fashion Revolution Day, observed every year on 24th April, has now become Fashion Revolution Week. Hundreds of events take place all over the world during this week, all aimed at raising awareness of the true cost of fashion. Individuals and organisations unite in their shared interest of designing a more sustainable future. This year the movement takes place from Monday 24th to Friday 30th April worldwide.
“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.”
- Fashion Revolution
Getting involved can be as simple as taking a photo. Fashion Revolution is calling on all of us to show our clothing labels and ask brands #whomademyclothes on social media.