This year, Fashion Revolution will continue asking #whomademyclothes, 7 years after the revolution officially began. On April 24, 2013 the collapse of the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh triggered the a global movement campaigning for a more sustainable and equitable fashion industry. Most of the Rana Plaza victims were young female workers manufacturing clothing for many of the biggest and best-known fashion brands. Over 1,100 people died and another 2,500 were injured, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history.
On top of year-round initiatives, every April on the week marking the anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy, Fashion Revolution intensifies its campaigning efforts for fair trade and safe employment in the garment industry in over 100 countries around the world, including Malta.
The ultimate aim is to unite individuals and companies operating at every link of the fashion chain - designers and producers, distributors, retailers and buyers - to work together towards changing the way clothing is sourced, produced and consumed. Since the start of Fashion Revolution, people from all over the world have joined the movement and used their decision-making and purchasing power to tell CEOs and policymakers that things must be done differently. Significant shifts have been achieved, but the mission is far from over. Fashion Revolution co-founder and creative director Orsola de Castro has said,
“It has never been more important to demand accountability and radical transparency from the brands we buy from, and to change our own consumption habits from excessive to efficient. We hope that people all over the world will stay with us this Fashion Revolution Week, and activate with us to ask for empathy and respect: empathy for the people who make our clothes and respect for the planet we all share.”
If you find yourself nodding in agreement and interested to know more, you'll be pleased to find out that becoming a fashion revolutionary can be pretty simple!
On the local level
20 / 21 / 24 April - How To: Repair Tricks (video tutorials)
23 April - Q+A time with Fashion Revolution Malta
On the global level
Fashion Transparency Index will be published by Fashion Revolution on April 21, covering 250 of the world’s biggest fashion brands and retailers. The Index will show which brands have seen the greatest improvement in their scores, and where there is more work to be done. This year’s Index will include a section on brands’ purchasing practices that have come under increasing scrutiny over recent weeks.
Fashion Question Time - Mass consumption: the end of an era, is an online event happening on April 24. The debate will highlight ways in which our personal consumption patterns are becoming more sustainable during the pandemic and address the question of how to support the millions of supply chain workers who have already lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Fashion Open Studio will be launched in an adapted form as many participating designers don't have access to their studios at present. Instead, designers who embed innovation and sustainability in their processes will connect with audiences through online workshops, tutorials and discussions about sustainability offering practical solutions and ways to engage creatively.
The most powerful weapon of the revolution is you and I. Using our voice to question, "Who made my clothes?” and speak up against unfair practices makes a difference. There are many ways how our voices can be heard.
We can take it to social media
One way to participate is to take a photo of a garment with a visible brand tag, use #whomademyclothes and tag the brand who produced the item of clothing. There are currently almost 600,000 posts using this hashtag circulating Instagram alone.
Another way is to download and print the poster and use it with your selfie, tagging a brand. If you don’t have access to a printer, why not get creative and make your own #whomademyclothes poster?
If you want to support the movement and inform yourself and others further, you can download the Fashion Revolution 2020 campaign assets, including facts, stats, quotes, cover images, Instagram feed and story templates here.
We can flood brands with emails
The easiest way to do so is to head to Fashion Revolution’s website and clicking on 'send an email to a brand'. Read the message, select the brand you want to reach out to, sign the email and send it. Done!
If you want to take it to the next level and question the environmental impact of clothing production use #whatsinmyclothes. It's campaign launched by Fashion Revolution earlier this year aiming to highlight micro-plastic pollution caused by the fashion industry.
If you run a fashion a brand, even a small one, start by looking at your own supply chain and asking the relevant questions. It doesn't matter if you're sourcing and producing hundreds of t-shirts or just a couple of pre-fabricated parts for your jewellery project. The courage to express your concerns and the ability to make wise decisions will have an impact and push the doubt down the chain.
If you're a proud maker, now's the time to give yourself a shoutout! Download the 'I made your clothes' poster, modify it to accommodate your product and post it!
And that's not all! There are so many other ways to get involved. Read through the Fashion Revolution Guide for Brands and Retailers to learn more.
Edited by Manuela Zammit.