Aug 23, 2017
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2 mn take part in Fashion Revolution Week celebrations

Aug 23, 2017

A record two million people around the world participated in the global movement of fashion revolution during the Fashion Revolution Week 2017 for a fairer, safer, more transparent fashion industry. Some 66,000 people attended around 1,000 activities from catwalks and clothes swaps to film screenings, panel discussions, creative stunts and workshops.

Supporters joined the global campaign in organised during 24th-30th April 2017 through events, posting on social media and other channels. A further 740 events took place in schools and universities, assisted by the network of 120 student ambassadors around the world.

Fashion Revolution Week runs in 90 countries and aims to unite the fashion industry and ignite a revolution to radically change the way clothes are sourced, produced and purchased, so that what the world wears is made in a safe, clean and fair way. It happens at the time of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, where 1,138 people were killed and many more injured on 24th April 2013.

This year, over 2,000 global fashion brands and retailers including Zara, Fat Face, Massimo Dutti, Pull and Bear, G Star Raw, Marks and Spencer, Marimekko and Gildan responded with real information about their suppliers or photographs of their workers saying #Imadeyourclothes, double the number who responded last year, giving visibility to some of the millions of people who are making clothes around the world.

India’s largest ready-made garment exporter, Shahi, built a website specifically for Fashion Revolution Week to tell the stories of some of the 100,000 people who make their clothes.

Internationally-recognised celebrities and influencers such as actress Emma Watson, professional surfer Kelly Slater, artist Shepard Fairey, editor-in- chief of Marie Claire Italia Antonella Antonelli, Brazilian actress Fernanda Paes Leme, Nobel Prize winner Professor Yunus and cooks Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, and Bangladeshi former child worker Kalpona Akter all backed the campaign.

Fashion Revolution’s social media impact increased by almost 250 per cent on last year, achieving 533 million impressions of posts using one of the hashtags during April. Carry Somers, Fashion Revolution founder and global operations director said: “Our collective voice is so powerful. By asking the simple question #whomademyclothes to brands, we have ignited a global conversation about supply chain transparency, and started to inspire people to think differently about what they wear. As we’ve seen over the last few years, the more people who ask #whomademyclothes the more brands will listen. Our questions, our voices, and our shopping habits have the power to help change the industry for the better, and together we are stronger.”

Fashion Revolution research however found that brands still have a long way to go towards being transparent. The 2017 Fashion Transparency Index, published on the first day of the campaign, revealed that many of the biggest fashion brands still don’t disclose enough information about their impact on the lives of workers in their supply chain and on the environment. This means the public has virtually no way of knowing if brands’ policies and procedures are truly effective and driving improvements for the people, making clothes.

The campaign has demonstrated it has teeth and brands have responded to the research, beginning to publish more about their social and environmental efforts and their factory lists. By June 2017, Fashion Revolution counted 106 brands across 42 companies/parent groups that are disclosing at least some of the facilities making their clothes.

Fashion Revolution works with policymakers around the world to look at ways governments can support more transparency from the fashion industry. This year, 89 political influencers, government officials or policymakers have publicly shown their support for Fashion Revolution. Carry added: “Thank you to all of you who took part. It is because of your voice, persistence and continued support that we have grown to become the biggest fashion advocacy movement on the planet. We are stronger when we speak and work together.”

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