“If you are neutral in situations of injustice you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu
When 1133 garment workers were killed in the Rana Plaza building collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh on April 23 2013, there were collective gasps of horror across the world. I was also shaken by the news. This event prompted me to write the blog post: Are You a Victim of Fast Fashion?
It was the Rana Plaza collapse that also prompted ethical fashion advocates Carry Somers and Orsola de Castro to start the organisation Fashion Revolution which brings together like-minded individuals seeking systemic reform of the fashion supply chain.
The organisation is also responsible for creating Fashion Revolution Day, a day commemorating those that lost their lives as well as the 2500 that were injured when the Rana Plaza complex collapsed.
In addition, Fashion Revolution was behind one of the most successful social campaigns of 2014: #Inside Out. Across the world, individuals wore their clothes inside out as a way of seeking transparency from fashion brands. This campaign went viral and people worldwide asked themselves: “Who Made My Clothes?”
This wasn’t just a once-off event. This is an ongoing commitment to bring transparency to a highly flawed fashion industry making brands accountable for the fashion they produce and how workers are treated.
We'll be celebrating Fashion Revolution Day again this year on April 24 2015 in over 65 countries globally. The hashtag this year is #whomademyclothes?
WHY DO I CARE?
If you've been following my blog for a while you'll know that I care a great deal about how individuals, communities and our natural environment are impacted in the name of fashion. On an even broader scale, I care about sustainability as a wholE.
Since I began this eco journey, I have been interested in how our individual choices impact the collective as well as Mother Earth. Since Rana Plaza, I have been increasingly concerned about how the Western world has directly and indirectly contributed to these horrific issues.
If you care about these issues too and want to get involved, here's how:
IF YOU ARE AN INDIVIDUAL OR ETHICAL BLOGGER
Individuals and ethical fashion bloggers can join this years’ #whomademyclothes hashtag campaign by following these 4 easy steps:
- Turn a garment inside out to reveal the label /swing tag
- Have someone take a pic of you wearing the garment inside out (take a selfie if you must)
- Upload to the social media platform of your choice (we encourage you to upload on all your social media accounts)
- Tag the fashion brand you're wearing and use the hashtags #WhoMadeMyClothes? and #FashRev. Don't forget to take 3 friends to join in on the fun!
There are also events planned across Australia and New Zealand to help raise awareness of this cause such as the Google Hangout on April 20 at 7pm. For details on upcoming events, check out the Fashion Revolution Day Aus NZ Facebook page.
If you’re a book lover, you can also educate yourself by reading sustainable and ethical fashion books. Why not promote the cause by sharing these books with your circle of influence or suggesting an ethical fashion book at your book club?
IF YOU ARE A BUSINESS OWNER
If you are a fashion retailer or ethical business you can also join in on the fun by:
- Having each employee turn an item of clothing inside out for Fashion Revolution Day, take photos and share these images on social media
- Write blog posts about the individuals and communities that are responsible for making your fashion products and feature them on your website
To download #FashRev resources such as posters, images and quotes, click here. To find out more about Fashion Revolution Day 2015 or the #whomadeyourclothes campaign, visit their website: http://fashionrevolution.org/