This week, UK-based non-profit collective Fashion Revolution is encouraging consumers to ask brands a simple question: “who made my clothes?”
The campaign – an annual commemoration of the 1,129 garment workers who died in the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh – will see social media users don their labels on the outside of their clothing. Brands and consumers will also partake in a week of protest, discussion and industry education.
The global movement aims to promote greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry, powering its agenda through talks, clothes-swapping parties and a zine.
Events this year have aimed to bridge the gap between brand and consumer accountability. Fashion Question Time, held at the Houses of Parliament, explored how the industry has changed since the Rana Plaza disaster, while the Haulternative initiative urged global influencers to ‘haul’ customised, swapped or second-hand pieces instead of new ones. The Open Studios project, curated by ethical fashion authority Tamsin Blanchard, will see a host of global designers opening up their studios, encouraging consumers to engage with both the clothes-making conversation and the process.
In 2016, the #WhoMadeMyClothes hashtag reached 129 million people, with 1,200 brands responding to consumer calls – some with a direct link to their corporate social responsibility policy. Streetwear brand Obey this week announced its partnership with Fair Trade USA in honour of Fashion Revolution Week.
For more on fashion’s sustainable agenda, see The New Fashion Landscape: Sustainable Wardrobes, Instagangs: Sustainable Brands and Selfridges’ Sustainability Campaign. To explore new fashion manufacturing processes, see Manufacturing Fashion’s Future.