What is Fashion Revolution Week?
And why is it so important?
Six years ago on the 24th of April, a factory complex that housed multiple fast fashion retailers, Rana Plaza, collapsed. This tragedy left 1,138 people dead and more than 2,500 injured, making it the fourth largest industrial accidents in the world.
This ignited the movement, The Fashion Revolution. This movement’s aim is to encourage greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the industry so disasters like the Rana Plaza collapse are avoided. Since then, many around the world have come together to call for a fairer, safer, more transparent fashion industry.
Every year, Fashion Revolution Week commences from the 22nd to the 24th of April. Many ethical clothing labels become involved to educate consumers. During this time, events ranging from from catwalks and clothes swaps, to film screenings, panel discussions, creative stunts and workshops are held around the world to help a fashion-loving audience connect with workers who make up the fashion supply chain.
In a globalised generation, our clothes can be made from anywhere around the world. A consumer should always know who made their clothes—from the workers who pick cotton on farms to the workers who dye the fabrics—and whether they were made in fair and safe working conditions.
During this week, the annual Fashion Transparency Index is also revealed. This index ranks the 200 largest fashion brands and retailers according to how transparent they are about their supply chains.
This is the fourth year that the Fashion Transparency Index has been published. Although there are signs of improvement from last year, there are still areas not disclosed by companies, especially when it comes to information about the effect of social and environmental commitments.
However, this year marks the first time any brand has been scored more than 60 per cent in the index. The brand with the highest score was Adidas, with a total of 64 per cent. Brands that followed Adidas in the lead are Reebok, Patagonia, Esprit and H&M.
Obviously, more transparency doesn’t necessarily mean that brands are operating ethically. However, it informs shoppers, organisations and unions, which lead to many more possibilities of positive change.
As co-founder of the Fashion Revolution movement, Carry Somers says to Business of Fashion, “exploitation thrives in hidden places”.
On social media, the Fashion Revolution is urging people to tag fashion brands and ask “#whomademyclothes?”. One small action may seem like nothing but a collective voice is powerful and can create radical change when raised.
Make a change.
Words by Jenny Qian
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