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Slowing down fast fashion

Rana Plaza, The True Cost and a fashion revolution
Sewing Picture from MyGreenPod Sustainable News

Two years after the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex, police in Bangladesh have filed the first formal murder charges against those responsible.

41 people – including factory owners and government officials – have been accused of murder for their role in the 2013 disaster, which left over 1,100 dead and 2,500 injured. A hearing is expected to take place on 28 June; if convicted, defendants face the death penalty.

‘Although this tragedy has acted as a catalyst for change, change is a slow process in the fashion industry. All over the world, people are still suffering and our environment is still at risk as a direct result of our fashion supply chain.’

Carry Somers, Fashion Revolution

The True Cost


The news comes hot on the heels of the worldwide release of The True Cost, a documentary that explores the dark side of the fast-fashion industry.

The film, directed by Andrew Morgan and executive produced by Livia Firth and Lucy Siegle, explores the desperate and devastating lives of garment workers enslaved in the fast-fashion cycle.

It has sparked an international debate and should help to ignite much-needed change in the global fashion industry and its shameful exploitation of people and planet.

‘Consumers are becoming more intelligent and taking charge – they now understand the true cost of buying so cheaply and so fast.

‘The solution can be very simple – that the fast-fashion industry will finally say ‘OK, we get it. We are slowing down’.’

Livia Firth

The True Cost is available now on VOD, iTunes, Amazon, VHX, DVD and BluRay.

A roadmap for change

A few months ago, Fashion Revolution worked with Mary Creagh, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, to host a ‘Fashion Question Time’ in the Houses of Parliament.

From the human cost of fast fashion and the mind-set around consumption to reshoring British manufacturing and the language of sustainability, questions were raised, viewpoints were challenged and solutions to some of the fashion industry’s most pressing issues were suggested.

‘We have decided to release the podcast of the event to the public as we believe the discussions held that day are too valuable to be contained within that room, but should be, and will be, used as a roadmap for governments, for brands, for educators, for everyone wanting to challenge the way in which the industry works.’

Carry Somers, Fashion Revolution

The panel

Chaired by Lucy Siegle, the panel included key speakers from across the industry and beyond:

  • Mary Creagh, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development
  • Catarina Midby, Global Head of Sustainable Communications, H&M
  • Lily Cole, actress and writer
  • Jenny Holdcroft, Policy Director, IndustriALL Global Union
  • Dilys Williams, Head, Centre for Sustainable Fashion
  • Anas Sarwar, Shadow Minister for International Development

‘I’ve spent a lot of time with green groups and never once did a green group come to me and say we’re really worried about the workers as well. To have a model of sustainability that doesn’t talk about the men, women and children that are at the face of what is happening is never going to make sustainability an holistic process…

‘Mainstreaming and bringing sustainability and social sustainability closer together is a big challenge and requires traditional development charities to work together with green charities to create the civic upsurge and awareness for that to happen.’

Jenny Holdcroft, Policy Director, IndustriALL Global Union, Fashion Question Time

Click here to listen to the Fashion Question Time podcast, or here to view a transcript of the audio.

Click here for more about The True Cost, including how to stream or buy a copy a copy of the movie. More on Fashion Revolution can be found here.

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