Have you ever wondered who was behind that gorgeous cocktail dress collecting dust in your wardrobe, or the comfy sweaters piled up in your cupboard? How about that pair of shoes you just can’t live without? Most people don’t. We buy, we throw away, then we buy again, never considering who’s actually making these clothes for us, and what their lives are like. How long have they been slaving away creating clothing they will never be able to wear themselves? Are they only being paid pennies for their work, or worse – nothing at all?
Image: Trusted Clothes
During Fashion Revolution Week (April 23 through 29 this year), we are reminded of just how important what we choose to put on our bodies are. Our choices aren’t only affecting our personal image, but the lives of individuals with their own families, friends and dreams. It may have been five years ago, but the Rana Plaza collapse is still very relevant today. On the 24th of April 2013, a garment-factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1 138 people and injuring more than 2 500 others. The devastating collapse is the deadliest sweatshop accident in history, and many are left wondering why these things still happen today in our ‘modern’ world.
The fear of this occurring again was the motivation behind the Fashion Revolution, a global movement with the goal of uniting everyone in a fight for an ethical and sustainable future for fashion, and those influenced by it. Although the fashion industry is an amazing outlet for creativity, its practices are far from humane, and this year long movement brings to light the problems still prevalent within the industry. Rather than hitting hard with facts and making consumers and producers feel guilt, the Fashion Revolution instead drive people to realise that they can create change. #whomademyclothes was the campaign of April, encouraging brands to change the way their clothing is sourced and produced. Most well-known brands still source from sweatshops and profit from cheap labour, but the Fashion Revolution is pushing for a change towards clothing that is made in a safe, clean and fair way. During Fashion Revolution Week, brands were asked to step up and claim #imadeyourclothes, for the first time openly stating where their clothes are produced.
Image: Atelier Tammam
But how can we contribute to change? It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the facts and feel helpless in an issue affecting so many. However, we as consumers wield more power than we are aware of. Just being conscious of the things we choose to buy, whether they are produced through exploitation or ethical means, could save a life. Even though we may feel small, when we demand the brands we love to take action, they will listen. Nowadays with the use of social media, a tweet or Instagram post holds equal power, if not more, than an email or letter. It’s such a simple, yet effective way to connect with where we shop from, and with enough traction, our voices will be heard.
So, what are you waiting for? Join the Fashion Revolution now, and create a better future for fashion, and for the world.
Written by: Tiffany Ko
Find out more about Fashion Revolution here.