Why do we need a Fashion Revolution?
On April 24th of 2013, Rana Plaza, a garment factory in Bangladesh, tragically collapsed, killing and injuring thousands of low-paid workers. This deadly catastrophe shed light on the darkest corner of the fashion industry; horrendous working conditions and lack of efficient regulations. The incident drew global attention to the working conditions of garment workers in Bangladesh and the ethical responsibility of multinational corporations that source their products from factories in the country. It also sparked a movement for improved worker safety and labor rights, resulting in the creation of the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety, a legally binding agreement between brands and trade unions to improve factory safety in Bangladesh. The tragedy serves as a stark reminder of the importance of worker safety and the need for greater corporate accountability in the global supply chain.
In the wake of this tragedy, the Fashion Revolution movement was born. Fashion Revolution believes that transparency is key to transforming the industry, and encourages consumers to ask brands and retailers "Who made my clothes?" (or accessories!) in order to push for greater accountability and positive change.
2023 Theme: "Manifesto for a Fashion Revolution"
Fashion Revolution Week is an annual campaign bringing together the world’s largest fashion activism movement for seven days of action, to collectively reimagine a just and equitable fashion system for people and the planet.This year's theme is centered around a 10-point manifesto that clearly articulates this dream.
This list presents ten key principles that outline what fashion should stand for. According to the list, fashion should provide dignified work that liberates workers and artisans and empowers them to stand up for their rights. It should provide fair and equal pay, lift people out of poverty, and respect culture and heritage while fostering creativity and celebrating skills and craftsmanship.
Additionally, fashion should be inclusive and democratic, conserve and restore the environment, be transparent and accountable, and measure success beyond just sales and profits. Finally, fashion should be a means of expressing oneself and celebrating life, without subjugating, denigrating, degrading, marginalizing, or compromising anyone.
You can read the entire manifesto here.
Get Involved: 3 Action Items
1. GET SOCIAL
Follow @fash_rev and @goodclothesfairpay, and get involved via your own pages by posting pics of your clothing and accessories labels, using the hashtag #whomademyclothes. This simple act creates a conversation around the transparency of the fashion supply chain and encourages brands to take responsibility for their production processes. You can also use social media to share information about sustainable and ethical fashion practices, and to promote brands that are making a positive impact on the environment and society.
2. JOIN THE CONVERSATION MAP
A group of Oxford University students have developed a super cool interactive conversation map that lets you add the details of your current discussions with friends, families, and communities about sustainability. You can explore and learn about the topics that people all over the world are talking about, and discover ways to get involved in the issues that resonate the most with you.
3. HOLD BRANDS ACCOUNTABLE
Although the slow fashion movement is steadily gaining momentum, global fashion consumption continues to grow at an unsustainable rate and relies on the culture of fast fashion. Ask brands to publish clear information about how and where clothes and accessories are made, who made them, and what the working conditions are. (You can learn more about MZ Made here!)
Fast Fashion vs. Slow Fashion
Fast fashion and slow fashion represent two very different approaches to production and consumption. Fast fashion is characterized by quickly produced and cheaply made garments that follow the latest trends, designed to be worn for a short period of time before being discarded, and often made with synthetic materials that pollute oceans and remain in landfills for generations . In contrast, slow fashion emphasizes high-quality, durable garments that are made with sustainable materials and production processes, and are designed to be timeless and long-lasting. Slow fashion aims to address the many social and environmental problems created by fast fashion by promoting ethical and sustainable practices throughout the entire supply chain.
YOU are the Fashion Revolution
Consumer choices play a crucial role in determining the ethical impact of products and services on society and the environment. As consumers, you have the power to support companies that prioritize sustainability, human rights, and social responsibility in their operations.
Learn more on the Fashion Revolution website. Together we can build a better fashion world, one purchase at a time.