In today’s blog post I will present to you the Fashion Revolution movement, which centers around the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse on 24th of April, 2013. Since then Fashion Revolution Week occurs every year - this year from 19th-25th April. It’s a time when people from all over the world come together as a community, to help change and create a better fashion industry.
Note that Fashion Revolution strives to be action-oriented and solution-focused. The movement does not want the people to feel quilty, but rather help them to recognise their chance and power to create a positive change. They often call themselves ‘pro-fashion protesters’ because they love fashion, but want to see the fashion industry stop exploiting people and harming the environment
Rana Plaza, a building located in Bangladesh, employed around 5,000 people working for different garment factories. Workers there were manufacturing clothing for some of the biggest global fashion brands, and on the 24th of April 2013 more than 1,100 people died in the collapse, and around 2,500 were injured - mostly young women. This made the disaster one of the four largest industrial catastrophes in history.
Even though some positive changes were seen in recent years, environmental degradation and human rights abuses remain unchanged. Awareness of the problem has spread a little bit, but many people still don’t know about the problem of how this all contributes to human exploitation and climate crisis.
Workers still die regularly in factory fires and accidents, and even though wages have increased a little bit in some countries, a lot of people in the supply chain are underpaid and can’t afford life’s most basic necessities. Sexual harassment and violence in workplace is still frequent for women, and trade unions and workers' ability to organise and fight for their rights still gets oppressed by employers and governments.
The fashion industry pollutes our atmosphere and water sources; for creating textiles and leather ancient forests are being cut down, animals are being mistreated and landfills are hoarding with disused garments. It’s still hard to source credible information about the working conditions and environmental impacts behind what we, consumers buy.
These are just some problems that underline the need of a drastic rethink of the way the whole system works. And we must keep on working towards positive change and transformation, so these facts become a thing of the past.
You might have seen a sign WHO MADE MY CLOTHES in the previous years already? It’s a sign with which people challenge / ask brands about the background of their production, because as previously mentioned – lack of transparency is a big issue. There is also another sign with I MADE YOUR CLOTHES held out by garment workers or other creatives that made the items.
This Fashion Revolution Week, Fashion Open Studio invites you to virtually step into designer’s studios and meet the people that make your clothes. A series of digital events will showcase 60 designers across 20 countries, each one pushing the boundaries of what it means to work within fashion in 2021.
*There is also a free course Fashion’s Future: The Sustainable Development Goals and it’s suitable for you even if you are not involved in fashion and you just wanna learn about the background of it all.
*Watch out for the next blog post where I will present to you some ways of how you can change your view on fast fashion, clothes and shopping habits.
With love, Morja