We’ve all heard, and more than likely asked, these common questions when it comes to clothing: “Where did you buy that cool top?”, or “How much was your skirt?”, or “Does my bum look big in these jeans?” When it comes to fashion, our curiosity seems focused on price, style and our desire to emulate those we admire.
However, we rarely ask the more important questions: “Who made my clothes?”, “What impact has this piece of clothing had on the people making it?”, and “What resources have been used to create it?” What if, instead of the one-dimensional relationship we have to fashion as consumers (thinking only about what our clothes mean to us), we asked questions that promoted change in the production and supply chain that showed the people making our clothes how much we value and respect their quality of life?
In it’s third year, Fashion Revolution Week (24 – 30 April) has grown to shine an even bigger spotlight on the fashion industry, bringing us more transparency on where our clothes come from than ever before. Now a global movement, this annual week of events and conversations coincides with the time of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, where 1,138 people were killed and many more injured on 24, April 2013.
The Fashion Revolution movement encourages us to ask brands, “Who made my clothes?”, and demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. It’s harder for brands to maintain unethical practices when they have to disclose how they make their products.
Our clothes have gone on a long journey before they hit store shelves, passing through the hands of cotton farmers, spinners, weavers, dyers, sewers and others.
“Approximately 75 million people work to make our clothes. 80% of them are women between the ages of 18 and 35.”
By taking a stand on ethical production and sustainability we show the people who make our clothes that we understand the value inherent in what we buy and we care deeply for their well-being, their dignity and their right to a good and happy life. Through mindful, informed choices, we can show them our humanity and help brands deliver beautiful products made in a way that supports the makers and our environment.
I mean really, who wants to wear clothing that has been made through human suffering? Surely at this point in time, we are brighter than the advertising and marketing campaigns that encourage us to snap up every trend to “stay in fashion” at a pace that is economically demanding and unsustainable.
Now there’s a simple and highly effective way to become part of the change we wish to see in the world. Join the movement by signing up at www.fashionrevolution.org and asking at least one of the brands you buy your clothes from: “Who made my clothes?” Together we can help transform the lives of the very special people who make our clothes.