On April 24th 2013, 1,134 innocent people were crushed to death and 2,500 injured when a clothing factory called the Rana Plaza complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Those innocent people were simply making cheap fashion for the Western world. The cheap fashion we have become used to, where we can buy a whole outfit from Primark for £50 – £100 including new shoes. What we forget to remember is what the true cost of paying so little for these items is…
It isn’t just the factory worker who will be paid so little that they may have to work 14 hour days, 6 days a week just to have enough money to eat in order to survive working in said factory. There is also the cotton farmer, the weaver, the purification and pre-finisher (to give the desired texture and properties to the fabric), the finisher (who dyes / shrinks / adds many number of properties to the fabric), the garment factory worker (who will sew the pieces together, add zips, buttons etc.), the shipper (getting products to warehouse) and the delivery driver (who will get the products to consumer or shops).
Each and every one of these people along the supply chain deserves to be able to lead a happy and healthy life where they are paid fairly for the work they do. Not be forced to live in hardship just so that we can wear a brand new top each time we go out.
An incredible movement has begun to increase people’s awareness of this issue and ask brands #whomademyclothes to ensure that there is transparency throughout the fashion and clothing industry.
This movement is called FASHION REVOLUTION
Every year on the 24th April, the anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy, people around the world are asked to put a picture on their social media with a photo of them and their favourite item of clothing inside out, showing the label and tagging the brand it’s made by and hashtagging #whomademyclothes. This year sees the first Fashion Revolution Week from 18th April – 24th April.
By getting involved and considering the ethical and eco credentials of every item you buy, you can help in your own small way to make the world a better and brighter place for everyone. One of the best ways to start is to do the 30 wear challenge – when buying a new item of clothing ask “will I wear this 30 or more times?” If the answer is no, maybe you don’t need it.
To find out more ways to be part of this revolution, head to www.fashionrevolution.org