A Fashion Revolution for People and Planet
This year marks the 8th anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The manufacturing site for several large global fashion brands, this building held over 5,000 employees. Extremely unsafe working conditions, including poor construction, too many floors and too much heavy equipment, resulted in the building’s collapse on April 24, 2013. More than 1,100 people died and another 2,500 were injured, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history.
Fashion Revolution Week was born out of this catastrophe, to bring awareness to the human rights abuses and environmental degradation surrounding the fashion industry and the clothing we wear everyday. Individuals are encouraged to ask their favorite fashion brands, “Who made my clothes?” This demands full transparency of the working conditions in their global supply chain.
We are all connected
This year, Fashion Revolution Week (April 19-25) will focus on Rights, Relationships, and Revolution, specifically exploring how human rights are connected to the rights of nature. People and the planet have been exploited for far too long at the hands of fast fashion. Unsafe working conditions, too little pay, pollution, and waste are the norm in the traditional fashion production chain. Fair trade aims to end this vicious cycle by both benefiting artisans and protecting the earth. Workers are guaranteed safe and healthy work environments as well as prompt and fair payment. Product materials are reused, reclaimed, and recycled, helping to conserve, preserve and cultivate the earth for future generations.
Erinch Sahan, Chief Executive of World Fair Trade Organization, explains further in a recent guest blog for Fashion Revolution entitled, Are artisans the future of fashion?
“Ecologically, this [fair trade model of production] unlocks a range of important practices. For instance, indigenous techniques such as local hand-weaving or metal-work techniques can become the centre-piece of the production model…These are low and sometimes zero-carbon models of production that wouldn’t be embraced by mainstream fashion businesses that are looking only at short-term cost-cutting. Yet they prioritise the use of locally available natural fibres and dyes, recycling and upcycling of available materials, and ensuring local resources like waterways are protected.”
Your voice matters, your purchases matter
A complete transformation is crucial in the fashion industry and it’s going to take all of us to bring it about. As consumers, we must demand the change that garment workers and the planet so desperately need and deserve. Visit the Fashion Revolution website to learn what you can do as a global citizen. There are many ways to be part of the revolution, virtually!
We have also curated our own collection of articles, documentaries, and ways to take action. Join us!
Learn more about The Fashion Revolution