Today is the 5th anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh killing 1,138 people and another 2,500 were injured, making it the forth largest industrial disaster in history. That’s when Fashion Revolution was born. There were five garment factories in Rana Plaza all manufacturing clothing for big global brands and the victims were mostly young women. Since then, people from all over the world have come together to use the power of fashion to change the world. It's also Fashion Revolution Week and today I'm asking Witchery #whomademyclothes?
Have you ever wondered who made your clothes? How much they’re paid, and what their lives are like?
Our clothes have gone on a long journey before they hit store shelves, passing through the hands of cotton farmers, spinners, weavers, dyers, and sewers. 75 million people work to make our clothes. 80 percent of them are women between the ages of 18 and 24.
However, the majority of the people who makes clothes for the global market live in poverty, unable to afford life’s basic necessities. Many are subject to exploitation; verbal and physical abuse, working in unsafe conditions, with very little pay. This needs to change.
In order to make the fashion industry accountable and sustainable, we first need to make it transparent.
The first step to transform the industry starts with one simple question: Who made my clothes?
As consumers, our questions, our voices, our shopping habits can have the power to help change things for the better. We are the driver of trends, and every time we buy something, we’re voting with our wallet. When we speak, brands listen.
We deserve to know who makes our clothes and under what conditions.
This is why, during Fashion Revolution Week, FashRev encourages as many people as possible to ask brands and retailers #whomademyclothes?
Some brands won’t answer at all. Some might tell you where your clothes were made but not who made them. Some will direct you to their corporate social responsibility policy. Only a few pioneers will show that they know something about the people who make their clothes.
The more people who ask #whomademyclothes, the more brands will listen. More brands are listening to our collective voice and responding, and more producers than ever are using social media to tell the world #imadeyourclothes.
If a brand doesn’t respond, keep asking. Our power is in persistence.