#WhoMadeMyClothes: why Fashion Revolution Day matters

Knowing who made your clothes is as important as how they look on you

24 April 2018 - 16:08 By Nothemba Mkhondo
Imprint is one of the local fashion labels who promoted Fashion Revolution Day with a special show at AFI Cape Town Fashion Week.
Imprint is one of the local fashion labels who promoted Fashion Revolution Day with a special show at AFI Cape Town Fashion Week.
Image: African Fashion International

Today is International Fashion Revolution Day, marking the second day of Fashion Revolution Week, which is now in its fifth year running.

Fashion Revolution Day started as a reaction to the disaster at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh where 1,138 people lost their lives when a five-storey building collapsed due to structural failure. It is considered the biggest garment factory disaster to date. 

Now, the movement has an active presence in over 100 countries, including South Africa.

Did you know that approximately 75 million people work to create 150 billion items of clothing every year? In the last few decades, the fashion industry has become remarkably faster and larger, increasingly driven by trends and fed by consumers' insatiable appetite for the “latest”; but at what cost?

“Have you ever wondered who made your clothes? How much they’re paid, and what their lives are like?”, the Fashion Revolution movement asks.

The industry itself is not the only thing that needs to change, how we think about and consume clothing also needs to change – that’s where Fashion Revolution steps in.

The movement prompts people to post photos of their clothe's labels on social media and ask brands, retailers and manufacturers: #whomademyclothes? The aim is to promote sustainable and ethical fashion practices, encourage transparency, and celebrate fashion as a positive influence in the lives of not only the people who consume fashion, but also those who create it.

“As citizens and consumers — our questions, our voices, our shopping habits can have the power to help change things for the better. We are the driver of trends. Every time we buy something, we’re voting with our wallet. When we speak, brands and governments listen”, the Fashion Revolution website states.

The Fashion Revolution is all about using your voice to catalyse change. Here’s how you can be part of the revolution:

  1. Ask brands, retailers and manufacturers, #whomademyclothes on Instagram, Twitter or by e-mail.
  2. Try the #haulternative challenge — refresh your wardrobe without buying new clothes by shopping secondhand, swapping with a friend, and DIY customisation.
  3. Instead of shopping for new clothes, fall back in love with the clothes you already own; write and share a love letter about an item of clothing that means a lot to you on social media to encourage others to do the same.

This article was first published on S Mag. To access the original, please click here.