What would you do for the perfect pair of jeans? Travel across time zones? Pay a full month’s salary? I know people who have, and I’ll bet you do too. Perhaps those denims wouldn’t seem so desirable, though, if you witnessed the toil behind the twill: cotton-picking, dyeing, weaving, sewing, decorating, stone-washing, packing, and transporting — each stage of the supply chain taking a toll on a human body. Perhaps we’d think twice about two-for-one deals if we saw the exhausted faces, aching backs, and calloused fingers on the production line. Perhaps if we knew the names of the makers, heard their voices, and watched their struggle to keep up with our lust for fast fashion, we just might rethink our actions.
Sustainability is an important topic — but, until recently, it’s failed to capture the public’s attention in an impactful way. Things look set to change though, as Fashion Revolution, a platform that drives for greater accountability and better practice initiatives from across the supply chain, is set to have its most successful year yet. The eco-fashion initiative is working to build the conversation around sustainability by asking consumers to tap into their curiosity and investigate the provenance of their clothing. By bringing an element of fun and creativity to the topic and harnessing the might of social media, Fashion Revolution has inspired millions of people worldwide to participate in a bid for industry transparency.
Founded in the wake of the Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh, where 1,134 people were killed and thousands injured in the deadliest garment factory disaster ever, Orsola de Castro, Fashion Revolution’s cofounder says the tragedy was a catalyst for worldwide debate. “The Rana Plaza disaster acted as a metaphorical call to arms,” she says. “Consumers are increasingly aware of inequalities and ethical inadequacies throughout the fashion supply chain. We, as many others, felt that enough suffering had happened in the name of fashion and it was time to join forces and create a movement for positive change.”
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