It’s Fashion Revolution Week! You in?
On the 24th April 2013, the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed. Rana Plaza housed a number of garment factories, employing around 5,000 people. The people in this building were manufacturing clothing for many of the biggest fashion labels in the world.
More than 1,100 people died in the collapse and another 2,500 were injured, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history. The victims were mostly young women.
Fashion Revolution Week has since become a time when the awakened among us in the textile industries come together to push for change. To push for reform! With the question #whomademyclothes, Fashion Revolution sends out an important message - telling fashion brands to address their supply chain responsibility, and to help systematically reform the textile industry for the better of its workers.
Thankfully, progress is being made every year. The Bangladesh government has increased the minimum wage of garment workers by 77% to $68 per month and 318 large retailers have signed an agreement to achieve living wages for workers with industry-wide corporate employment contracts linked to purchasing practices.
These are great steps in a process that requires a lot of patience and a lot more work. And the support of sustainable brands and conscious consumers counts more than ever.
A very important result of this tragic collapse is that nowadays consumers and stakeholders demand for more transparency and traceability as enablers of change. Now, we don’t produce in Bangladesh, we keep our production as close to home as possible, but nevertheless this effects all those working in fashion. The importance of transparency has never been clearer, especially during COVID-19 where possibilities of workers health and wellbeing is at higher risk, and we’ve worked tirelessly to ensure our production is certified sustainable and ethical, for the world to see.
So what are we doing?
- We have 100% of locations where worker safety and well-being is guaranteed.
- We have conducted 5 Fair Wear audits in India, Tunisia and China this year.
- We have become GOTS certified on company level.
- We can guarantee a minimum wage at all production facilities.
- We can guarantee that employees do not work more than is legally allowed.
- We want to ensure a living wage to all high-risk countries between 2022 and 2024.
- Since 2020 we have been participating in the Fair Wear living wage incubator. Committing to the payment of a living wage by 2021.
- We have implemented Freedom of Association in all of our production locations. We currently focus most closely on Tunisia with the help of JSN training and the Amplify project, allowing employees to become members of trade unions and enhance their worker protection.
But remember, we’re just one brand. We count on others like us, and conscious supporters like yourself to join us in the revolution. Demand to know what your favorite brand is doing for Fashion Revolution Week (And the rest of the year, of course!) and consider your own spending habits next time you need textiles, clothing or otherwise. It really makes a difference which labels get support. Every penny spent is a vote cast.
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