Today is the last day of Fashion Revolution Week – a week that marks the anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse, Bangladesh’s largest industrial accident (and the world’s fourth largest) that killed over 1,138 garment workers – mostly women.
Founded by the ethical fashion advocates Carry Somers and Orsola de Castro, Fashion Revolution has become a global movement prompting consumers the world over to radicalise their approach to fashion by asking the question #WhoMadeMyClothes?
By demanding change, Fashion Revolution campaigns for greater transparency in global fashion supply chains to ensure that a disaster such as Rana Plaza never happens again. You can read more about their inspiring mission here and I honestly urge that you don’t just absorb it but that you action it too.
Why not email your favourite brand to ask them where your clothes were made, who made them and under what conditions? I’d love to know if you hear a response!
This morning I visited London’s Sustainable Fashion Rooms to find out about the brands that support Fashion Revolution’s vision. What particularly impressed me is that these brands aren’t just asking for a radical transformation of the fashion industry; they are leading the way by transforming it themselves.
Showcasing some of London’s most renowned ethical fashion brands and designers (including People Tree, Lowie and Brothers We Stand), it was great to learn about their pioneering approaches to a fairer fashion industry.
Below I answer some of your most frequently asked questions around fast & fair fashion.
1. Why is fair fashion more expensive than fast fashion?
I think the answer lies in the rise of fast fashion and our assumption that the prices determined by big brands (e.g. Zara/ H&M/ Gap) should set the precedent for all brands. But fast fashion is cheap because the majority of it is manufactured abroad where workers are subject to exploitation, little pay and unsafe conditions. So when you buy fair fashion, you are paying for these workers to make clothes in a more transparent fashion industry that is both fairer and safer.
2. How much difference does it make if a fast fashion brand launches a conscious collection?
I often get asked this question and I think it’s a tough one to answer. They are certainly controversial amongst ethical fashion enthusiasts who question whether they are simply greenwashing activities that belie their unsustainable practices. But I wouldn’t be so quick to judge – at least they are making some progress, a vital step towards a revolutionised fashion industry even if it’s there is still lots more progress to be made!
3. I’m interested in buying sustainable fashion but I don’t know where to start, can you recommend any brands?
I absolutely love People Tree – I first learnt about them last year when I began my blogging journey but I’d never bought anything until recently. Then, before my trip to Sicily I invested in three statement pieces: Mina Breton Top, Sinead Rib Jumper and Mara Top. I always feel great wearing them in the knowledge that I’ve contributed to a fairer fashion industry!
Another great place to look is Know the Origin. Launched by the lovely Charlotte, they partner with incredible purpose led producers in India to ensure absolute transparency in their supply chains.