For the fourth year running we have been supporting a global movement called Fashion Revolution.
Fashion Revolution Week is the #whomademyclothes campaign in April, which falls on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1138 people and injured many more on 24th April 2013. That is the day Fashion Revolution was born. During this week, brands and producers are encouraged to respond with the hashtag #imadeyourclothes and to demonstrate transparency in their supply chain.
How can you shop for fashion sustainably?
Sustainable fashion is a concept which i often struggle with. The fashion industry is hugely complex and it is hard to know which strand to unravel first; fairtrade, human rights, organic cotton, ethical supply, water supply, packaging, shipping?… Just a few of the interlinked factors to consider. I tend to side step the issue by dressing mainly in charity shop treasures, the wonders of my mother and grandmother’s hand-me-down wardrobe (thankfully they are two extraordinarily stylish women) and swapping with my friends.
Like the rest of us, there are still times where I need to buy something new .Luckily, fashion revolution week brings together a movement of ethical experts to highlight the issues and showcase the best ethical brands while reminding us of the human touch behind our clothes and the value that has. It is a reminder that while fashion should be about celebrating diversity and freedom of expression the reality for millions working in the industry is human rights abuses and modern slavery.
Transparency is trending
An increasing number of fashion brands and retailers are publishing a list of their suppliers. As of March 2018, fashion revolution has counted 152 across 62 companies/parent groups that are disclosing at least some of the facilities making their clothes.
You can read more in the full article and list called ‘Transparency is Trending’ by Fashion Revolution
Publishing supplier lists is important because it helps NGOs, unions, local communities and even workers themselves to alert brands of any potential human rights and environmental issues in their supply chains. This sort of transparency makes it easier for the relevant parties to understand what went wrong, who is responsible and how to fix it. It also helps consumers better understand #whomademyclothes.
There’s still a long way to go, but these lists are an excellent beginning as they help all of us that love and care about fashion to participate in making the industry more accountable.
How can you join the fashion revolution?
- Join the social media debate @fashion_rev and #whomademyclothes
- Send an email to your favourite brand asking #whomademyclothes
- Visit the Fashion Revolution website which is full of fantastic resources: https://www.fashionrevolution.org/about/
- Have a conversation with your contacts in the fashion industry about transparency and human rights issues in their supply chain.
- If you are in London check out the Ethical Fashion sample sale and workshops just off Brick Lane
Ethical Fashion pup up: Shop Number 4, Brick Lane, Truman buildings (just opposite Rough Trade)
Thursday 26th April:
POP-UP SHOP AND SAMPLE SALE: 11:00-20:00
EVENT: 18:30-19:30 Sustainable Design, Sourcing and Buying, £7 Register here
Panel: Safia Minney – MBE, author, activist, MD of Po-Zu & founder of People Tree, Sven Segal – Founder of Po-Zu, Nina Marenzi – The Sustainable Angle, Tamsin Lejeune – Common Objective & Founder of the Ethical Fashion Forum, Bronwyn Lowenthal – founder of Lowie
Friday 27th April:
POP-UP SHOP AND SAMPLE SALE: 11:00-19:00
EVENT: 16:00-19:00 People Tree – Behind the Brand – Find out how we do things differently. By donation, Register here
Saturday 28th April:
POP-UP SHOP AND SAMPLE SALE: 10:00-18:00
EVENT: 11:00-12:00 The New Frontier – Broadening the Media Debate on Ethical Fashion and The Vegan Revolution, £7 Register here.
Panel: Safia Minney – MBE, author, activist, MD of Po-Zu & founder of People Tree, Kate Arnell – British television presenter/Eco Blogger, Bel Jacobs – Fashion, Style, Beauty & Culture, previously Style Editor for Metro, Tansy Hoskins – author of Stitched Up: The Anti-Capitalist Book of Fashion, political commentator on the BBC, Sky News, Al Jazeera and Channel 4’s Ten O’Clock Live, Zoe Partridge – founder of Wear the Walk, Lara Balsam – Lara runs a London-based vegan charity
Sunday 29th April:
POP-UP SHOP AND SAMPLE SALE: 11:00-16:00