Tomorrow, 24th April 2014 is Fashion Revolution Day. A day that remembers over 1,000 people killed and over 2,500 injured when Rana Plaza, a building housing garment factory workers in Bangladesh collapsed due to preventable structural problems.
The tragic deaths and injuries following the Rana Plaza collapse left many people horrified, and raised public awareness about the ill-treatment of garment factory workers making the fashion we see and buy on the high street. An issue which had previously been debated by a small section of the fashion industry and consumers was now a headline issue, and the names of high street and high end retailers linked to this factory were ones most of us in the West have patronised.
We were suddenly confronted with the knowledge that someone working in slavery-like conditions might have made items sitting in our closets. A sobering thought.
Fashion Revolution was set up in the aftermath of Rana Plaza to become a significant day in the global fashion calendar. Led by a board of industry leaders, campaigners, press and academics from within the sector and beyond, Fashion Revolution Day aims to become the catalyst that brings together those who want to see change within the industry, and become a truly global movement, bringing greater collaboration across the sector and working in partnership along the entire supply chain. This is an industry that impacts on so many and, as such, it has the potential to improve millions of lives around the world.
According to the organiser of Fashion Revolution, “An annual Fashion Revolution Day will keep the most vulnerable in the supply chain in the public eye. We need it to show the world that change is possible. The true cost of of the current fashion business model must not be forgotten. The churn of the 24 hour news cycle, complacency and distraction means unless we stamp our resolve here and now, Rana Plaza will be dismissed as an unfortunate reality of contemporary life. We must not allow that to happen.
Fashion Revolution Day is the day on which we will celebrate fashion as a positive influence, and all those who contribute to making it so. It will rally the high street, the high end, the new, the ancient, the innovators, the buyers, the shoppers, the media, the commentators, the activists and everyone in between.”
It’s always refreshing to see leading authorities in the fashion media spend some time addressing the very real and sometimes ugly issues that underlie the manufacture of the beautiful clothes that hit our high streets. The issues we sometimes conveniently forget when we walk into a shop selling deceptively cheap garments. Dolly Jones, Editor of Vogue.com, whom I heard speak at the Ethical Fashion Forum annual conference last year, has written a great piece highlighting the after-effects of this tragedy one year on. Read the piece here.
For Sapelle, the issue of ethical production and ethical business remains paramount, and we’re proud to say that all of our partners share our principles of treating workers, the environment and our customers with utmost respect.
Tomorrow will be a reminder to always uphold those values and to share this important message with our friends and followers. It doesn’t take much to ask how your clothes are made – the internet is a wonderful thing! Let’s stop Slavery to Fashion.
How you can get involved on 24th April 2014:
- Wear any item of clothing #InsideOut
- Ask WHO MADE YOUR CLOTHES. Email, tweet, Facebook your chosen retailer and ask them who made your clothes
- Spread the word! Tell everyone you know! Tweet a picture of yourself to @Fash_Rev with hashtag #InsideOut and share your story.
Follow us on @SapelleStyle to read more about our supply chain and how your Sapelle clothes are made.