WHY DO WE NEED A FASHION REVOLUTION?
In case you didn't know already.
Image by Ewan Kingsbury
Why Do We Need a Fashion Revolution?
Today marks the devastating anniversary of the Bangladesh Rana Plaza Factory collapse when thousands of lives were destroyed in the name of fashion.
Here are the cold, sobering facts of that day:
3,639 workers, 80% of them women between 18-20 years old, went to work at the Rana Plaza Factory in Bangladesh. Many workers complained of large dangerous looking cracks in the walls of the factories and refused to enter the building, however they were threatened, beaten with sticks and forced by the factory owners to work regardless. On the morning of April 24th, 2013, the factory started collapsing almost immediately, crushing and killing 1,138 people. There were 2,500 others who were seriously injured and several others whose bodies were never found. International Global Rights Organisation.
Fashion Revolution day was held on the first anniversary of the Rana Plaza Factory collapse to raise awareness about this despicable tragedy and to say "never again". Every anniversary, we remember what happened to the people who died toiling for 12-24c per hour on garments for many popular retailers such as Inditex (Zara) and Primark. And don't be thinking this was not an isolated event. Millions of workers are still forced to work in slave-like conditions that most of us couldn't even fathom.
Fashion Revolution encourages everyone (because everyone wears clothes) to get involved, especially over a two week period in April, to collectively show that this is just not good enough.
Image by Katie Goodwin
For those two weeks and hopefully for much longer after that, many people will ask the question "who made my clothes?", you'll see the signs being held up by people all over the world and supply chain. I implore you to join us; turn your garments inside out, take a photo and ask the retailer you bought it from to tell you more about the supply chain. Did they pay living wages to their workers? What steps have they taken to protect workers so that atrocities like this don't happen again?
There are many other environmental injustices happening in the industry too. From obscene water and air pollution expelled from textile factories, to microplastics killing millions of birds and sea-life due to everyday people washing their polyester clothes. This industry is in desperate need of a revolution. Yes, brands need to take responsibility, but so do we as citizens. We have way more power than we first might think.
Here are three things we need to address, according to Fashion Revolution to see real change in this industry.
1. Model - the actual business of fashion is all wrong as it is built on greed, over-consumption of resources and profiteering off of the most vulnerable. The A.BCH business model is based on benefiting people and the planet and that our profits propel our future work in this space. It[s actually the reason we exist! Check out our not so frequently asked FAQs for more details.
2. Material - the environment is seeing mass devastation due to the current system, change is needed from fibre to finish to ensure better treatment of people, the planet and animals. I can tell you we're working so hard on this one! You can view our Materials List for more juicy info on why we use (or don't use) certain materials.
3. Mindset - people are consuming clothes faster and in higher quantities than ever before (400% more than 20 years ago) and yet pay much less for clothes than ever before. A mindset shift is needed around what people pay for clothes, how much they buy and the transparency they demand from retailers. This is also where you and I come in. We have power. We are the ones who can make changes to how we treat our current clothing, what we buy in the future and how much.
Join the Fashion Revolution! Everyone is invited, because we ALL wear clothes and every piece of clothing was made by someONE.
We'd love to hear how you're joining the Fashion Revolution in your own way. Also, checkout Fashion Revolution, as well as your local Fashion Revolution (ie. Australia + New Zealand) for how to be part of something closer to home.
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