Fashion Revolution Day
One year ago today the Rana Plaza factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed killing 1133 garment workers and injuring 2,500 more. While this seems far removed from our western fashion pursuits and lives the reality is the overwhelming majority of what we wear is produced in factories just like this. Factories with questionable safety records, over-worked/underplayed employees and often child labor.
The growth of fast affordable fashion has only increased the demand for low wage, unsafe factories to meet our insatiable appetite for the latest thing at a bargin basement price. There is nothing wrong with inexpensive clothing. Personally I’m a big fan and have more than my share. But inexpensive clothing can still be manufactured in safe, humane conditions. And the problem is not isolated to lower cost garments. Plenty of upscale, high-priced fashion is manufactured in the exact same conditions with the same disregard for human labor.
Most of us have closets full of clothes that we never wear. How often have we given any thought to where the materials for that product come from. The factory workers that produced the finished product. Do we need every item that we posses. Can’t we resist the lure of the latest sale.
This doesn’t mean stop buying new clothes. The fashion industry employs countless numbers world-wide and they depend on those jobs for survival. What it does mean is that it is ok to ask where you clothes are made. To choose to support brands that manufacture their products in a humane way.
The following link is an op-ed in today’s Business of Fashion by Tasman Blanchard, the style director of Telegraph Magazine and a board member of Fashion Revolution Day. Fashion Revolution Day was set up in the memory of those garments workers who were needlessly killed to draw attention to the plight of today’s garment worker. They are encouraging people to wear their shirts inside out today to show off their labels, drawing attention to the question of where and how clothes are made.
Tamsin Blanchard is the style director of the Telegraph Magazine and a board member of Fashion Revolution Day.