4649.REC has been discussing the way the clothes we own carry the stories of those who have worn them before us. However, we cannot overlook just how much those who make our clothing contribute to their stories, as well.
In remembrance of the collapse of the Rana Plaza building hosting several garment factories in Bangladesh 8 years ago today (24th April 2013), 4649.REC has shared yet another of our team member Christina’s beautiful haikus*. We want to pay tribute to the 1,134 people lost during this tragedy and bring attention to the workers in the fast fashion industry, who often suffer exploitative conditions to keep clothing prices low.
What is Fashion Revolution?
The Rana Plaza building collapse is the fourth largest industrial disaster in history. Fashion Revolution was founded in the wake of this tragedy and launched the #WhoMadeMyClothes movement, urging the fashion industry to respect human rights and increase transparency throughout the production chain. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation 300 million people work in the clothing industry, a vast majority of them being women. The vast majority live in poverty and do not have the freedom to negotiate their working conditions. In fact, in 2018, the Global Slavery Index reported that the garment industry is the second sector driving modern slavery.
In the context of COVID-19, garment worker’s rights and transparency are a particularly salient issue. Research by the Traidcraft Exchange highlighted how most of the countries where garments are being produced do not have the economic resources necessary to support the large number of unemployed workers, leaving many food insecure. Indeed, in last year in March an estimated $1.44 Billion US dollars worth of payments were cancelled or withheld in Bangladesh alone. In the midst of a pandemic, this means the healthcare infrastructure will also struggle to care for the sick.
On this day, in accordance with the values of Fashion Revolution, we wish to amplify the voices of garment workers which are too often overlooked. You can hear more about the stories of garment workers or by following the #IMadeYourClothes movement.
What can you do to help?
Here, at 4649.REC, we value harmony, respect and sincerity and believe it is time for an ethical fashion revolution. Read and sign the Fashion Revolution manifesto here.
Fashion should be a celebration of people, of cultural diversity and of life. If you, too, want bring about a fashion industry which values people and the planet above profits, learn more about how you can get involved.
Let’s make ethical and sustainable choices when filling our wardrobe as our favorite stores re-open and let us know what you consider to make a fashion brand ethical? Share your thoughts with us and let’s start our conversation.
* “A writer with a tendency to look at human fallibility and the emotions that haunt us, Christina Sophie Tring is a poet and prose writer that is focusing on multiple projects this year to build her catalogue of work”