FASHION REVOLUTION WEEK: DAY 2
Five years on from Rana Plaza, is the fashion industry a better place for women to work?
Yesterday I attended the kick-off event for Fashion Revolution Week, Fashion Question Time. Taking place at the Houses of Parliament, the panel was made up of The Right Hon. Lord Bates, Minister of State at the Department for International Development, Rushanara Ali MP, Sarah Ashwin, professor of Comparative Employment Relations at LSE and Catarina Midby, Sustainability Manager at H&M.
"If we as the consumer/purchaser continue to demand more ethical practices, then brands will be forced to make the necessary changes. Get involved in whatever way you can."
The theme for the discussion was, Five years on from Rana Plaza, is the fashion industry a better place for women to work? which saw the panel members discuss how the manufacturing industry has changed over the last 5 years in Bangladesh and as a whole. Today marks the anniversary of that horrific tragedy and, since then, governments across the world have put significant investment into the garment industry in Bangladesh, helping to raise the minimum wage, address building safety concerns, create a system which monitors the practices of factories, and train members of staff to empower them to use their voice and put in place cooperatives and unions to protect the workers' rights.
"To take part and make the difference; go to an event, post on social media asking #WhoMadeMyClothes and sign the movement's manifesto."
There is still so much more work to be done; one point which came up multiple times is that if we as the consumer/purchaser continue to demand more ethical practices, then brands will be forced to make the necessary changes. Get involved in whatever way you can. The horror story of Rana Plaza opened our eyes and set the ball rolling. The momentum continues to grow and today Fashion Revolution Week is THE biggest fashion event in the world. With 1,000 events taking place in 109 countries this week alone, it demonstrates just how seriously we are taking this. To take part and make the difference; go to an event, post on social media asking #WhoMadeMyClothes and sign the movement's manifesto and let's continue to expand the awareness and use our voice to be part of the change we want to see.
And now, for my Fashion Revolution Week day 2 outfit:
RIANNA + NINA
Rianna and Nina met by chance at a vintage furniture fair where they quickly realised that they both share a passion for vintage fabric, vibrant prints, travelling and a positive way of living. In 2014, Rianna + Nina was born. The kimonos in their collection, one of their signature designs, are crafted from vintage silk scarves and made in Germany.
British brand IDEN believes that great fitting jeans in premium denim fabrics need not cost the Earth. Using fabrics from pioneering mills, with an emphasis on natural, organic and recycled materials, they aim to create a thoughtfully sourced collection that is as kind to your wallet as it is to the environment.
Babe Universe's slogan t-shirts are made from 100% certified organic cotton and produced in an environmentally-friendly factory powered by wind energy. A part of the brand's annual profits goes towards supporting girls' education in India.
RAFA is a women's luxury footwear collection designed and hand-crafted by a group of 20 artisans in Los Angeles, California. The brand was launched with the aim of creating “classic silhouettes that were comfortable, beautiful, ethically produced, and made in the USA.” All of RAFA's products are made using ecologically friendly materials and sustainable processes.
Established by Paola Masperi, Mayamiko The Label is an ethical and sustainable womenswear and lifestyle brand, producing pieces lovingly made in Malawi by a team of tailors, pattern cutters and seamstresses, as well as artisans in Sri Lanka who made the tassel earrings pictured. Mayamiko also aims to help the most disadvantaged people in Malawi by nurturing their creative talents and turning them in to sustainable activities that could be transferable to trade practices, lifting them out of poverty and towards a better future.
As a sustainable business, Carla Colour make every effort to be socially and environmentally responsible. They only work and partner with suppliers who share their ethos and can verify their factories adhere to the highest socially responsible standards. All of the frames of their glasses are made from renewable sources.
RÊVE EN VERT
Rêve En Vert is a company that was founded in response to the evolving nature of contemporary style into something a bit too consumptive and trend-based. It’s a commitment to bettering the world through the medium of fashion and lifestyle. Founded in 2013, Rêve En Vert has established itself as the premier online retailer of sustainable luxury and holds its designers to four tenants: organic, re-made, local and fair.