This week is Fashion Revolution Week. In 2013 the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed killing over 1000 people. The disaster included the collapse of garment factories for the western fashion industry.
We should always question where our fashion comes from. Who made my clothes? What impact is the fashion industry having? Although things are slowly improving, those who make our clothes are not paid and treated as well as they should be. The Global Slavery Index estimates that 36 million people are subject to modern day slavery with many of these working for western clothing brands. Simply because a company pays minimum wage this often does not cover living costs, keeping workers in a cycle of poverty.
|Ask brands 'who made my clothes?' - Source Fashion Revolution|
There is also a huge negative impact on the planet with the vast amount of products that are made. Millions of gallons of water go into single garments and toxic waste products are dumped into rivers. We need to call fast fashion companies into question and ask Who Made My Clothes and question what the companies are doing to help the planet.
I am calling into question Primark - a brand that I always loved due to its low prices. Looking through their ethics and sustainability sections on their website everything seems peachy but, with their prices so low it seems unlikely that their workers and paid and treated in a fair and safe manner. In terms of the environment, they seem to be aiming for greater sustainability with recycling initiatives and pledges to reduce waste going to landfill but is this enough? At the end of the day, their aim is to keep prices low and maximise profit which is very difficult to do whilst taking care of the environment and workers.
Whilst on the surface it often seems like companies are complying to health and safety, working and environmental standards, this doesn’t mean they are doing good. Simply because they are meeting a legal 'standard' does not necessarily mean that it is humane. Workers still work stupid amounts of hours in questionable conditions and brands still aren’t doing enough to help the planet. Factories are often subcontracted creating a diffusion of responsibility as the brand itself doesn’t have total control.
|Fashion Revolution are calling for us to post a picture of a clothes label on Instagram and ask a brand 'who made my clothes'?|
We need to call for a fashion revolution to ensure that the fashion industry has only a positive impact on human lives and the world we live in. If you want to know more about how you can help, check out my blog post about fashion and the environment and be sure to check out Fashion Revolution for heaps of information and ways you can make more sustainable and positive fashion choices!
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