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Time for Action

All Areas > Health & Beauty > Vintage & Sustainable Fashion

Author: Lynda Rowland, Posted: Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 09:30

Back in 2013, the fashion world was rocked by the tragic event which took place at the Rana Plaza manufacturing centre in Bangladesh. A structural failure caused the collapse of what was an enormous building housing five garment factories. At least 1,132 people were killed and more than 2,500 injured. This was just months after a similar accident in the same region, also involving clothing and textile workers.

These tragedies highlighted the unsafe working environments and poor labour conditions endured by millions of mostly women and girls around the world. It also threw the spotlight on additional issues such as low pay and the scarcity of benefits and employment support such workers were subjected to.

It was discovered that these employees were, and are to this day, at risk from frequent work-related accidents and industrial diseases, due to a lack of an enforceable inspection system and financial support in terms of compensation for workplace injury and loss of earnings.

The Fashion Revolution organisation was founded in the wake of Rana Plaza and is now the world’s largest fashion activism movement. Incorporating designers, producers, retailers, craftspeople and marketing experts as well as academics, writers and policy makers, Fashion Revolution aims to make a difference in the clothing industry through research, education and representation.

Anyone who cares about fashion and how their clothes are produced can be part of the Revolution! Its vision is to promote and nurture an ethical clothing industry based upon sustainability, whilst prioritising people over profits.

Many brands nowadays have formulated their own voluntary codes of conduct to ensure any factories they use to produce their goods are meeting the highest ethical standards. It is up to us as consumers to seek out these companies and use them. This action will encourage more businesses to take a similar approach, thereby effecting change over the whole industry.

Alongside these aims for working practices are, of course, the increasingly urgent and crucial environmental issues. Fashion Revolution has offices in fourteen countries around the world, helping to develop their own regional strategies within the guidance, common values and principles of the global network. The Fashion Revolution Foundation is the charitable arm of Fashion Revolution UK, and is a registered charity which funds education, research and awareness-raising activities.

Although the organisation is working hard all year round, Monday April 18th – Sunday, April 24th 2022 is Fashion Revolution Week. The group will be setting out its vision for a fair and sustainable fashion industry through various events, and this year’s theme is Money, Fashion, Power.

At the heart of this is the belief that there can be no sustainable fashion without fair pay, and that we should all aspire to a strategy of buying better, even if that means buying less, recognising that if a top can be purchased in a chain store for just £5 there is somebody somewhere who is paying the true price. And aside from that, just think about the impact such throwaway fashion is having on the planet. We all need to become more conscious consumers, thinking about where our clothes come from and how they are made.

Events during Fashion Revolution week will be held both online and in-person and include mending workshops, a virtual clothes swap and various live panel discussions.

To find out more go to www.fashionrevolution.org and join the world’s largest annual campaign for action for change in fashion.

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