Apr 16, 2015
Two years after Rana Plaza, a campaign for fashion brand transparency
Apr 16, 2015
"Who made your clothes?" A social network campaign has been launched for the second consecutive year to encourage fashion brands to be more transparent and to mark the two years since the Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh.
The movement "Fashion Revolution Day", which was launched by the British fashion designer and activist Carry Somers, and which is active in 68 countries, encourages Internet users to confront brands on April 24, the anniversary of the disaster that killed 1,138 textile workers and injured more than 2,000 others.
Customers are invited to take a picture with a piece of clothing worn inside out, to show the brand’s label, and to publish the photo on social networks, asking the brand in question, "#whomademyclothes?".
In 2014, "tens of thousands of people," participated in the movement, according to its organizer. But with the exception of a few brands, such as Esprit, Eileen Fisher and G-Star Raw, "very few brands are involved, and very few have responded to their customers."
"Those who responded didn’t give very satisfactory answers. We wanted to have faces…but many have simply said that their factories respect the highest ethical criteria," said Somers, who is also a designer at the fair trade hat brand "Pachacuti”, which produces Panama hats in Ecuador. "We know not only who made them, we know which fields produced the straw," she said.
The campaign "Fashion Revolution Day", which is aimed at both large clothing chains and luxury brands, is "an appeal for transparency; turning your clothes inside out is a very symbolic way of saying ‘I see this brand, I see where it's made, but I want to know who made it,'" she added.
Swedish clothing giant H&M recently reported that, as part of its sustainability report, it is broadening "the list of its suppliers to include fabric suppliers" and working for fairer wages. But "improving factories on an individual basis won’t change anything. We need to change the entire system," said Somers.
In France, in late March, the government adopted a bill law requiring multinational companies to counteract attacks on human rights and the environment by their foreign subcontractors, a move described as a "historic first step" by NGOs.
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