It’s time for a Fashion Revolution!
This week is Fashion Revolution Week. Some of you might already know and might already be asking your favorite brands “who made my clothes?” (or jewelry or accessories), and if so hats off to you and thank you for making your voice heard and helping hold the fashion industry accountable. If you’re newer to sustainable fashion, no worries, Fashion Revolution week is a great way to start getting involved! I’ll go into the history and impact of Fashion Revolution and why it’s important to get involved.
Why do we need a fashion revolution anyways? Six years ago, today, on April 24th, 2013, the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed. 1,138 people died, and an additional 2,500 people were injured, making this the fourth largest industrial disaster in our history. Most of the victims were young women making clothing for large global brands such as H&M and Joe Fresh.
This was the event that first opened my eyes to the reality of how many of the clothes I was wearing, as a then college student, were made. It eventually impacted the way I see sourcing and manufacturing as a business owner and designer.
Unfortunately, this event can’t be written off as an isolated tragedy in the fashion industry. According to Fashion Revolution and Remake, approximately 75 million people around the world work to make our clothes and accessories and about 80% of them are young women aged 18-35. Regrettably, most of them live in poverty. They are often unable to afford the bare necessities for life and are often subject to exploitation, physical and verbal abuse. They work in dirty and unsafe conditions, all for very little pay. This is the status quo for many of the people who work in garment manufacturing.
This needs to change.