Fashion Revolution Day is almost here! Last year, conscientious consumers were encouraged to ask the question, “Who made your clothes?” as a way of getting others to rally around the cause of universal ethical labor practices. This year, we’re asking, “Who made my clothes?” to the brands and companies we support. We want transparency across the board. One of the best ways to get involved is to wear your clothing inside out on April 24th, post a photo to social media, and tag the companies represented in your outfit, making sure to ask: “Who made my clothes?”
The Fashion Revolution Day team has a great set of materials for spreading the word available here. I’ve excerpted a few questions from an interview with founder, Carry Somers, below (full interview available for download here).
What is Fashion Revolution Day?
Each year, Fashion Revolution will drive forward a different campaign to tackle some of the fashion industry’s most pressing issues. It will keep the most vulnerable in the supply chain in the public eye and challenge the industry to do better. It will also demonstrate that change is possible by showcasing examples of those who are already creating a better future for fashion.
Fashion Revolution Day, on 24 April, will rally the high street, the high end, the designers, the brands, the shoppers, the media, the commentators, the activists and everyone in between. After the impact achieved last year, Fashion Revolution Day is set to become a significant annual, global event.
Why this date?
On 24 April 2013, 1133 people were killed when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Many more were injured. Today, people are still suffering as a direct result of our fashion supply chain. Fashion Revolution Day says enough is enough. We need to show the world that change is possible.
What are you trying to achieve?
Fashion Revolution will become a catalyst for change through a number of routes. We want to raise awareness of the true cost of fashion and its impact at every stage in the process of production and consumption; show the world that change is possible through celebrating those involved in creating a more sustainable future; bring people together the length of the value chain to ask questions and share best practice; and work towards long-term industry-wide change, getting consensus from the entire supply chain around what changes need to happen.
This year, brands and retailers will be challenged to take responsibility for the individuals and communities on which their business depends. By taking an inside-out selfie, posting it on social media and asking the brand Who Made My Clothes? people around the world can show support for greater transparency throughout the fashion supply chain.
Much of the fashion industry is burying its head in the sand. Fashion Revolution is a global movement and we will bring the message straight from the cotton farmer, the mill dyer, the seamstress, the knitter, the weaver directly to the consumer, to show the truth, to show where change needs to happen, and how we, as consumers, can make a difference. For real change to happen, every part of the supply chain has to make a commitment to change, and that includes us.
What do you say to people who were horrified at the disaster, but can’t afford to pay extra for ethically–sourced clothing?
We’re not asking people to boycott their favourite stores, we need to change the fashion industry from within. By asking the brands and retailers where we like to shop Who Made My Clothes? we can put pressure on them to be more transparent about their supply chains.
In terms of the price, three quarters of those questioned in a YouGov/Global Poverty Project survey said they would be likely to pay an extra 5% for their clothes if there was a guarantee workers were being paid fairly and working in safe conditions. It has been estimated that putting as little as 25p onto the cost of a garment made in Bangladesh would provide the producers with a living wage and pay for factories to meeting fire and building safety standards.
I hope you’ll join me this year and ask, “Who made my clothes?”