24 April 2015
Fashion revolution day
On 24 April 2013, 1133 people were killed and over 2500 workers injured when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. To ensure a tragedy like this won't happen in the future, Fashion Revolution Day, a global movement now held annually on 24 April, was born.
It calls for improvements to the fashion supply chain and encourages consumers to reflect on the welfare of the workers who make the clothes we wear.
Many companies were quick to sign up to the Ethical Trading Initiative that aims to promote respect for workers after the 2013 disaster and many of us committed to buying clothes that were fairly made - or at least to thinking more carefully about where our clothes are made.
Today thousands of ethically-minded fashion enthusiasts are turning their clothes inside out and snapping selfies of clothes labels with the hashtag #whomademyclothes and #fashrev aimed at their favourite clothing companies.
But social and environmental catastrophes in fashion supply chains continue and Fashion Revolution is saying that enough is enough.
The organisers' hope that clothing trading companies will act on consumer demand for transparency and provide information about where their clothes are being made.
Some critics maintain that this information will not be given due to the simple fact that the companies do not actually know who made their clothes because they design, market and sell clothing, but don't actually make any of it themselves.
Instead, they contract a massive network of independent factories that manufacture and then those factories subcontract out some of that work. You would have to travel much further down the supply chain to discover the worst conditions, they claim.
Alliance member organisation and child development charity, Compassion UK, is showcasing the work of an array of ethically inspired designers and high street stores to highlight the work that it does to release children from poverty at an event tonight in Holborn at St Sepulchre's Church.
The event will feature the work of Babu London Jewellery, Oozoos, Zoe Boomer, Toms, Jollie Socks as well as a range from Phase Eight.
The evening will highlight the difference that sponsorship makes and showcase some of the wider work that Compassion does.
In particular it will look at a vocational training programme in India that teaches women tailoring skills, enabling them to provide for their families.
Simon Ward of the British Fashion Council will be attending the event: "I love the links that can be found between God, fashion and culture - Fashion with Compassion will celebrate those links and encourage us, the church, to enable children in the poorest countries of the world to discover and develop their own God-given creativity and potential."
You can attend one of the many Fashion Revolution Day events, which aim to raise awareness and inspire, challenge and equip consumers to use their buying power positively.
You could also ask your favourite shops the question: "Who made my clothes?".