Change for good.
Who made your clothes? It’s the question Fashion Revolution co-founders, Carry Somers and Orsola de Castro, posed to the internet in 2014. The question – and its correlating hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes – came almost a year after the devastating Rana Plaza Collapse on April 23, 2013. With The total death toll counted at 1,132, the horrific event became the sector’s worst-ever industrial disaster.
The Dhaka factory collapse – a “man-made disaster” that exposed inhumane working conditions in the Bangladesh clothing industry – acted as a catalyst for the world’s largest fashion activism movement. Launching yesterday, the annual Fashion Revolution Week is welcoming its ninth year with a new theme: Money Fashion Power.
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Eat the rich! Or at the very least, hold them accountable. The 2022 theme of Money Fashion Power shines a light on the industry’s disproportionate distribution of power and wealth, as well as the exploitation of natural resources for greed and profit. As Orsola De Castro stated, “Scrutinizing and celebrating fashion, globally and locally, wherever you are – Fashion Revolution Week is all of this”.
With specialized resources and events catered to citizens, brands, retailers and producers (among others), Fashion Revolution Week is again providing us with a week of opportunities to take action. Here’s how you can get involved.
Attend an event
There are a plethora of online and IRL events to attend between April 19 and 24. Livestreamed presentations, masterclasses and panels include Fashion’s Obsession with Wealth, The Secret Life of Your Closet, Recycling and Inclusivity and Op Shop Like a Pro. In terms of in-person events, the Makers and Shakers x Slow Fashion Market will be taking place in Rozelle, NSW, while the Fabric and Pattern Swap Ukraine Fundraiser will be held in Melbourne’s suburb of Footscray. To view the full calendar, head to the events page here.
Fashion Open Studio – Fashion Revolution’s mentoring and showcasing initiative – also boasts a lineup of interactive presentations, talks and workshops catered specifically to designers and industry stakeholders. You can register to hear from emerging and established designers who align and identify with this year’s theme of Money Fashion Power. Find a full list of the designers here.
Write to a brand or policymaker
Fashion Revolution Week urges you to start by inciting change in your area. Using the website’s handy templates, you can push for legislation, transparency and fair pay by emailing brands, public officials and policymakers. You can also download different social media assets and key messaging to start spreading the good fashion word on social media. Start conversations, share your thoughts and encourage your community to do the same.
Consider your wardrobe
Even when Fashion Revolution Week is over, you can continue to educate yourself on where your clothing is coming from. Before you make your next purchase, consult the Fashion Transparency Index and understand what the brand (designer, business, etc) is doing to make a positive change. Push for answers until they become available to you.
As the founding CEO of Outland Denim, James Bartle explains, “I hope we soon see a day where transparency is so normalized that consumers don’t have to ask‘ Who made my clothes? ’. Currently, the onus on consumers to hold brands accountable for basic human rights is unacceptable ”.
Find out more about Fashion Revolution Week here.