Fashion Revolution: do you know who made your clothes? April 17 2015

A few months ago I was very honoured to have my jewellery featured in the campaign for Fashion Revolution, a global initiative created to ask questions and raise standards within the fashion industry.

Models wear Alchemist's Rotary Pendant, Modern Primitive Pendant and Milagros Cross Studs.
Styling by Alice Wilby and Photography by Rachel Manns.

They set 24 April as Fashion Revolution Day, taking the day of the Rana Plaza tragedy as a landmark for change. In 24 April 2013, 1133 people were killed and over 2500 were injured when a factory complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. At least 29 global brands had orders with factories at the Rana Plaza building at the time of this tragedy, including Mango, Bonmarché, Primark, El Corte Inglés, Walmart, Matalan, H&M, Inditex, Benetton, among others.

This is only one example of how much we don’t know about what goes into the making of our clothes and the true cost of fashion. It also brings to light how much we don’t know about who makes our clothes and the conditions imposed on them so we could have the latest trend at a cheap price.

The fashion industry has a complex and fractured supply chain and as outsourcing production becomes the cheapest alternative for brands, producers have become faceless. However, companies should claim responsibility for their workers and methods, as we trust them to make a fair selection of the manufacturers to whom they outsource production. Fashion Revolution is not about not shopping at the high street anymore. It is about questioning the brands you love and demanding transparency and ethical standards. Click below to join in and support the campaign!

The fashion industry is very complex and there is a divide separating what makes an ethical brand and what makes a sustainable brand. Being ethical and providing fair wages and safe working conditions for your employees is a great first step but it is also not enough to cover the environmental cost that comes with fashion and the textile industry.

Greenpeace is running the Detox Fashion campaign, which seeks to stop brands using hazardous chemicals in their manufacturing. As production is now outsourced to developing countries, chemicals that are banned in Europe or the United States continue to be used as it doesn’t go against local legislation. This means that these chemicals reach our rivers and come in contact with our skin without us ever knowing. Many more details can be found in the Greenpeace study Toxic Threads: The Great Fashion Stitch Up – read it here.

Let’s not let our love of fashion blind us! Let’s use our resources, such as internet petitions and social media, to pressure brands and shop responsibly!