As consumers, we only see the final product of anything we consume – clothing, furniture, and food. We usually don’t know what happens in the factories, how the resources are gathered, and the conditions in which the employees work. In 2013, a commercial building in Bangladesh that housed a garment factory collapsed, killing 1000 workers and injuring about 2500. It is known as the worst garment industry accident in history.
This tragic event inspired the creation of Fashion Revolution – the world’s largest fashion activism movement. They are a global fashion industry dedicated to restoring the natural environment, providing safe and fair working environments, and ending the throwaway culture, thus shifting to a system where materials are used for much longer and nothing goes to waste. Fashion Revolution mobilizes citizens, brands and policymakers through research, education and advocacy.
The team at Fashion Revolution work to advocate for policy change, industry change, and cultural change. They have become part of the development of the EU strategy for sustainable textiles, have fought to bring living wages to millions of garment workers and have created interactive, practical guides and innovative events to mobilize citizens to think differently about how they buy, care for and dispose of their clothes. They have also developed the Fashion Transparency Index, which pushes the world’s largest fashion brands to be more transparent about their social and environmental efforts.
From April 22 to 29, Fashion Revolution is hosting a Fashion Revolution Week to bring together the world’s largest fashion activism movement for seven days of action. The aim is to get their manifesto into reality by highlighting to the world that we need a global fashion industry that conserves and restores the environment and values people over growth and profit.
Fashion Revolution has created Canada’s Student Upcycling Challenge to get younger people involved in their movement. The competition is designed to challenge high school and post-secondary students across Canada to transform existing clothing into new garments. Participants will be judged on creativity and design, level of transformation, technical skills, and use of recycled materials. The winner will win a $500 prize. Other events during Fashion Revolution week include clothing swaps, exchange district garment factory walking tours, an open wardrobe photo exhibit and more.
Every year the fashion industry expands, fashion brands produce even more to keep up with the fast fashion trend, and consumers continue to buy at unprecedented levels. Despite the low costs of the clothing and poor-quality materials, not enough consumers are reflecting on where their clothing is coming from and how it is being made. Fashion Revolution is changing this – to make the fashion industry sustainable and fairer for society and the planet. They are the change we need to revolutionize the fashion industry.