Tuesday, 19 April 2016
How To Start A #FashionRevolution
It's a busy week for ethical fashion as we move towards the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster on April 24th. You may have already seen the adverts that H&M have launched for their Recycle Week, featuring rapper M.I.A.
As we've already mentioned, the H&M event is something of a newbie, and may even be treading on the toes of the independent celebration of ethical fashion that is Fashion Revolution. Here at the Pier, we believe that FashRev is a great way to shout loudly about the issues affecting modern fashion, and getting the big brands to pay attention.
So what's it all about? Founded in 2013 by eco-fashionistas Orsola De Castro and Carry Somers, Fashion Revolution aims to get us talking about the people that make our clothes–people like those that lost their lives when the criminally unsafe Rana Plaza building collapsed and took the lives of over a thousand workers. It's a week of protest, sure. But it's also a week to have fun.
Vloggers and bloggers across the globe are sharing their #haulternatives–a response to YouTubers bragging about their latest fashion purchases. With pics and videos of their latest thrift store or pre-loved buys, and tips on how to upcycle and restore the hidden treasures in your wardrobe, the focus is less on consumption than creation. The popularity of #haulternative videos and blog posts is only growing. Check out the hashtag, and if you're that way inclined, why not make your own?
Here's another hashtag for you: #whomademyclothes? This idea first put FashRev on the map, focussing attention on the people behind the clothes. The idea is simple. Take a selfie wearing an inside-out item of clothing that clearly displays the manufacturers label. Then reach out to that brand on your favourite social media vector, asking them a simple question–who made my clothes? It's a protest, a way of showing awareness and in some ways a neat inversion of fashion narrative. The one thing you're not supposed to do when taking pics of clothing is show the label.
Brands across the planet are already seeing their Twitter and Facebook feeds taken over by #whomademyclothes, and the pressure is only going to build as the week goes on. It's a great way to get involved in one of the cleverest protest movements of the past few years, and it means you get to show off one of your favourite garms in the process!
Well, in an inside-out kind of a way.
This year FashRev is going a step further and releasing a Fashion Transparency Index, applauding the brands who are prepared to tell us who made our clothes. That's going to be a document that changes, and I get the feeling that change could be rapid as more and more people start asking the same question.
Joining the revolution couldn't be easier. Get yourself over to http://www.fashionrevolution.org and find out more, then start sharing your inside-out pics.
Forget H&M. This is the movement that's really going to make a difference.