Rana Plaza was once an eight-story building located in Dhaka District, Bangladesh, and home to five garment factories. On April 24, 2013, the building collapsed. One day before, bankers and shop owners evacuated the site upon noticing cracks in its foundation. Garment workers did not have that same privilege. The fall took 1,134 lives, and injured an additional 2,500. In the wake of the greatest garment factory disaster the world had seen, global citizens finally said, “No more.”
Fashion Revolution formed just after the collapse. The organization dedicates itself to creating radical change throughout the fashion industry – from construction to consumer. According to Fashion Revolution’s site, 75 million people play parts in creating clothing for the mass market. A majority are women between the ages of 18 and 35. Many workers live in poverty, are exploited, and work in hazardous environments. Even so, consumers shop more but spend less on garments than ever before. Fashion Revolution aims to have shoppers think more about the hundreds of hands that constructed their clothes by asking, #WhoMadeMyClothes?
#WhoMadeMyClothes isn’t just a hashtag, it’s a call to action. It’s a question that opens doors to worlds that we may never otherwise see. Having the curiosity to open those doors, no matter what’s on the other side, can lead to drastic improvements in the lives of millions. By questioning retailers, brands, and companies who are involved in making our wardrobes, we encourage transparency. With that comes better working conditions, fairer wages, and a stronger overall sense that the rights of garment workers, farmers, artisans, and makers matter just as much as our own.
This month, we ask that you take to your social platforms and ask, #WhoMadeMyClothes. Perhaps, do it every time you share your #OOTD. Demand transparency from all of your favorite brands – whether they’re on High Street, Park Avenue, or Biscayne Blvd. We’ll ask too. Now is the time to be seen and heard. Together we will make the change, and be the revolution.
words by James Francis Kelley
photos via FashionRevolution.org