Make it British is calling on readers of this website to go #insideout in support of Fashion Revolution Day
Fashion Revolution Day marks the first anniversary of the tragic Rana Plaza disaster in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where a factory collapsed killing 1,133 people. The campaign, which takes place on Thursday 24th April, will see manufacturers, fashion lovers, garment workers, designers and many more across 52 countries, come together to turn an item of clothing inside out and ask ‘Who Made Your Clothes?’ – highlighting the challenges of today’s global fashion supply chain.
It is a cause very much supported by Make it British – one of the reasons that we encourage people to buy goods made in Britain is because it is one of the best ways of knowing who made your clothes. Visit most UK clothing factories (and I’m not saying all as there are always going to be a couple of iffy ones that go under the radar), and compare the conditions in which the staff work, to those depicted in the papers of the workers at the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, and there is a massive difference.
I’m not alone in thinking that supporting local factories is a good thing to do. Mary Portas, who championed UK fashion manufacturing in her TV programme ‘Mary’s Bottom Line’, and who will be one of the speakers at our Meet the Manufacturer conference in June, has also thrown her weight behind the cause. She states her reasons for doing so: “If more companies were transparent about the production of their clothes, less fashion would be manufactured cheaply, preventing bustling UK factories having to close down and disasters like that at Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh. It’s crucial that people change the way they think about buying clothes…we should appreciate our clothes, not treat them as throwaway objects.”
Similarly, journalist Lucy Siegle, who has written a book entitled ‘We are what we wear” about the link between fast fashion and the garment workers in Bangladesh, pleaded in an article in The Observer last weekend: “Rana Plaza has to stand for something. Thursday 24, the first anniversary, has been designated Fashion Revolution Day by a coalition of activists from all around the world. Consumers must take some sort of stand. The fast-fashion industry must be shown it doesn’t have it all completely sewn up.”
So what can you do to show that you are thinking about ‘who made your clothes’ on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza Disaster? Here are some ideas for starters:
- Turn an item of clothing inside out, take a picture of the label and share it on the Fashion Revolution Facebook page
- Tweet “Today I’m wearing my (shirt/dress/T-shirt etc.) #insideout because I want to ask @ (brand/retailer) Who Made Your Clothes?
- Visit a UK clothing factory. Some of our favourite manufacturers are opening their factory doors on the 24th April and allowing members of the public inside. They are: Gaddum & Gaddum (Leek, Staffordshire), Fashion Enter (London) Headen & Quarmby (Middleton, Lancashire) and David Nieper (Derbyshire).
There are many more ideas and resources available on the Fashion Revolution website, as well as stories from makers around the world.