Fashion Revolution Week: Why it's important & how you can help
In a world that runs fast and looks for the instant solution, many brands fall into finding the quickest, cheapest way, but we find it our duty to remind people that sometimes slower is better, that it’s okay to take a moment and appreciate what you have and how it came to be. This week we have been celebrating just that! Today marks the anniversary of a world-changing event, an event that sparked international outrage and action that led to the creation of Fashion Revolution itself, a not-for-profit movement and organisation. On the 24th April 2013, The Rana plaza in Bangladesh collapsed leading to the death of over 1,000 garment workers and injuring another 2,500, all of whom made clothes for some of the biggest global fashion brands. What’s even more tragic is the fact that the disaster was preventable with many workers in the aftermath describing how they had been afraid to enter the building due to it looking hazardous, cracks appearing all over its structure.
(Seen here: Rana Plaza collapse, left; a Fashion Revolution event, right.)
The Fashion Revolution movement itself runs all year with more importance and attention put on it this particular week. This year, the movement has also asked for us all to consider #Whatsinmyclothes in order to make brands aware of their full process and how they may be hurting or helping communities and the environment due to the fabric choices they make. Considering this question, it asks us to be aware of the chemicals that go in our clothes and the needles amount of machine-based production that is overused and polluting.
(Seen here: Examples of fast fashion workshops, left; the WomenWeave workshop - our green partner - that favours handcrafting)
With our garments, you are rest assured that every thread had a keen eye watching over it to make sure it’s in its place, that we take care of our team because we would not be able to do what we do without them, and that our partners are of the same green mind. And, so here we are in the present day, joining in Fashion Revolution’s movement, one that asks for transparency, accountability and ethical practices that protect workers. If you have been following us even for a little while, you would see that we do our best to spotlight our production team so that you know exactly who creates each Sui piece, not just for the sake of accountability but also because we’re proud of our small but mighty team. They are such an important part of our journey and we would hope our green heart fam also appreciates the work they put into crafting every piece, from every embroidered detail to the assembling of each cut of fabric, care and love is poured into every thread.
(Seen here: Our Orchid Garden Patch shirt that was created with the combined efforts of WomenWeave, top left, who handspun and hand weaved the organic cotton fabric, Bagru Textiles, bottom left, who hand printed the orchid motif, and our threadspeller team, middle, who put the final pieces together!)
However, there is still much to be done, we ourselves have a long way to go and we need as many people to join hands to do it. A Fashion Revolution is only as strong as those who lead and spread the word of it, so here are a few things you can do to help!
We can always start with changing and evolving our own knowledge, so the first place to start is to read up. Here are a few recent articles to help you along:
‘A monstrous disposable industry’: Fast facts about fast fashion
#Whatsinmyclothes: The truth behind the label
Fast fashion speeding toward environmental disaster, report says
‘Slow fashion is the future’: Study says it’s time to scrap polluting ‘fast fashion’ industry
You can also check out some of these Fashion Revolution events and activities that were hosted this week and are also upcoming!
21st April, available now: A YouTube panel discussion on "Gender Equity and its Impact on Sustainability in Cotton Farming in India" Roles, Challenges and Opportunities of Gender in Bringing Sustainability to Cotton Farming.
24th of April: An Instagram story takeover by Fashion Revolution India’s regional head, Pooja Gupta all about “Documenting Initiatives on Ethics and Sustainability in the Field of Design”
24th April, available now: An IGTV reading, New Heroes by IRO IRO, celebrates Kamladevi Chattophadhay and how she uplifted Indian craft and our textile sector.
25th April, 8:30AM IST/11AM SGT: A zoom panel discussion that invites other fashion founders and professionals to talk about “Fashion and sustainability - an incompatible couple?”
25th April, 10:30AM IST/1PM SGT: A zoom panel discussion that will also be available on Facebook Live, “Fashion Revolution x The Fashion Pulpit presents: Guilt-free retail therapy”.
25th April, 1PM IST/3:30PM SGT: Broadcast on Facebook Live, RSVP to take part in “Fash Rev x ZERRIN presents Sustainable Fashion: Behind the Seams” where multiple industry professionals discuss how to redefine the fashion industry post COVID-19.
And another thing we ask is you start to question those making your favourite garments. Look to these brands and ask them these questions:
- What conditions does your production team work in?
- Are they paid fairly?
- Do you know where your fabrics come from and how they are processed?
- Can we see where and how they work?
- And, of course, the two most important and all encompassing of the bunch: Who Made My Clothes? What’s In My Clothes?
We hope we can help you in your slow fashion journey and that you continue with us on ours. Check out our social platforms to get to know us, our team and our processes and even ask us these questions. We would love to share our knowledge and hopefully inspire more to lead with a green heart!