This week marks the beginning of Fashion Revolution Week, but how can you be a fashion revolutionary? For the first time, a global online event will take place which anyone in the world can take part in: the Fashion Revolution Wall.
Fashion Revolution was founded in reaction to the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh on 24 April 2013. During the collapse 1,133 people were killed and 2,500 people were injured. Fashion Revolution was founded by Carry Somers and Orsola De Castro to raise awareness of the true cost of fashion and encourage us to ask 'Who made my clothes?'.
The Fashion Revolution campaign has gathered a global following, demonstrated last year when the hashtag #whomademyclothes ranked number one on twitter globally on 24th April 2015. This year the campaign has been extended to a week long campaign from 18-24th April 2016, with an impressive list of events lined up for it. The events are aimed to attract all levels of decision makers from fashion brands to designers to government and arguably the most important decision maker - the person on the shop floor.
The question in my mind remains: what does the person on the shop floor want to know about their clothing? I mean, what do they really want to know, which might change their purchase decisions? It might be who made their clothing, or it might be something about the type of person who made their clothing and their working environment. Notice that I refer to the person on the shop floor as a 'person', not a 'consumer' or 'buyer'. I'd love to call them a 'human' because that in reality is just what we are, we're not made to be consumers of clothing like we are of other goods such as food. The person who made your clothes is also a human.
For me, this is what the campaign is about, to remember that we as humans all share a responsibility to safeguard our shared future.
One of my passion topics, climate change, is at the end of the day about a fight for the survival of humanity. We need a new word for that 'person' on the shop floor - someone who I relate to a 'fashion revolutionary'. For me the opportunity to be a part of the fashion revolution movement allows me to experiment with these new concepts as the Founder of Knowlabel. Over the next 5 years we're embarking on an ambitious plan with fashion brands to transform the way we engage with the social and environmental impact of clothing in the retail environment.
So how can you be a fashion revolutionary? I wish I could make it more challenging, but it's super easy. The Fashion Revolution wall is a collection of your clothing labels to mark Fashion Revolution 2016 and show the strength of a global movement. All you have to do is visit www.fashrevwall.com and take a photo of your clothing label, then tweet it along with the hashtags #fashrevwall and #whomademyclothes . That's it - you've shared that you're a fashion revolutionary! Ask your friends to do the same and watch the wall grow, as people from all over the world share photos of their labels.
The wall will only display 1133 labels at a time, the same number of people who died during the factory collapse. This idea came from a physical wall of clothing labels we created in London last year, when we asked people to cut out their labels and stick them on our wall collecting a total of 1133 labels. This year we wanted to use the power of technology to scale this concept, so using the skills of developers from Women Hack For Non Profits we've been able to build a digital wall.
So what are you waiting for? Be a Fashion Revolutionary! www.fashrevwall.com