On 24 April 2015, Fashion Revolution Day, people in 66 countries around the world will challenge global fashion brands to demonstrate commitment to transparency across the length of the value chain, from farmers to factory workers and brands to buyers and consumers.
One in six people work in the global fashion supply chain. It is the most labour dependent industry on the planet, yet the people who make our clothes are hidden from us – often at their own expense. This is a symptom of the broken links across the fashion industry.
Led by some of the biggest names in ethical fashion, Fashion Revolution Day will show that change is possible. Model Lily Cole, Eco Age Founder Livia Firth and writer and broadcaster Lucy Siegle are just some of the names expected take part in a mass global action asking brands #whomademyclothes.
Fashion lovers will take a selfie with their clothes label showing, then send it to a brand via social media. They will ask ‘who made my clothes?’ (#whomademyclothes) and share the brand’s reply. Tens of thousands of people across the globe did this last year and more are expected to take part in the campaign this April.
This Fashion Revolution Day marks the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which killed 1,133 and injured over 2,500 people.
Social and environmental catastrophes in our fashion supply chains continue. Garment workers in Cambodia work six days a week, earning barely enough to meet their basic living expenses. They risk malnourishment which, combined with poor working conditions, has in recent years caused numerous incidents of mass faintings and collapses in the factories.
Cotton production accounts for the use of $2bn of chemical pesticides each year. More than 250,000 cotton farmer suicides have been recorded in India over the last 16 years in the largest wave of suicides in history.
‘When everything in the fashion industry is focused on making a profit, human rights, the environment and workers’ rights get lost. This has got to stop and we plan to mobilise people around the world to ask questions. Find out. Do something.
‘Buying is only the last click in a long journey involving hundreds of people: the invisible workforce behind the clothes we wear. We no longer know the people who made our clothes so therefore it is easy to turn a blind eye and as a result, millions of people are suffering, even dying.’
Carry Somers, Fashion Revolution co-founder
Campaigners will call on the textile value chain to engage in a demonstrable commitment to transparency by challenging brands and retailers to pledge to:
Fashion Revolution will also demonstrate that change is possible by showcasing examples of those who are already creating a better future for fashion. This is just the start of many years of positive transformation and industry-wide collaboration through Fashion Revolution Day.
‘Fashion Revolution is about building a future where an accident like this never happens again. We believe knowing who made our clothes is the first step in transforming the fashion industry. Knowing who made our clothes requires transparency, and this implies openness, honesty, communication and accountability. It’s about re-connecting broken links and celebrating the relationship between shoppers and the people who make our clothes, shoes, accessories and jewellery – all the things we call fashion.’
Orsola de Castro, Fashion Revolution co-founder
To mark the day, and connect supporters with garment producers all over the world, there will be a series of global ‘social media takeovers’ hosted at @Fash_Rev. These are scheduled events, held on Twitter, to allow like-minded people to connect and discuss a topic of choice.
Subjects for discussion will include how to revamp unworn clothes, where the world’s most popular brands produce their garments and first-hand accounts of life for workers in factories that supply our best-known retailers.
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