On April 24 2013, the fashion industry would be forever changed when the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh killing 1,134 people and injuring 2,515 more. Most worked within the garment industry, notorious for its unsafe work conditions, low wages, exploitation, corruption, child labour and of course, its production of dirt cheap clothing.
This horrific event would go down in history as Bangladesh’s worst industrial accident. But it would also spark one of the largest global movements in modern history, Fashion Revolution Day.
Ethical fashion advocates Carry Somers and Orsola de Castro decided to use this brutal incident to shine a spotlight on the global fashion supply chains, demanding greater transparency and better conditions for workers. They wanted to show us the true cost of the fast fashion industry. So they founded Fashion Revolution Day.
They asked people to take part by sharing a photo wearing an item of clothing inside out showing the garment label and asking brands: “Who made my clothes?”
In just two years tens of thousands of people in over 70 countries took part, posting selfies, tagging brands and demanding more information on who, where and how their clothing was made.
Now this year is expected to be the biggest one yet with activists in 84 countries signing up to participate.
And what started with just one day has now extended to a full week of global activism: Fashion Revolution Week which began on April 18 and will continue until April 24 2016.
At COSSAC, we help you shop with a conscience.
COSSAC was founded on the premise that style and ethics can go hand in hand. We don’t believe that these concepts are mutually exclusive. We don’t believe that you must sacrifice style for sustainability or vice versa.
We are committed to creating beautiful clothes but just as committed to a fully transparent supply chain. We source fair trade, organic cotton and other eco-friendly fabrics from various suppliers from the UK, India, Turkey and other countries.
Our garments are produced in Europe, predominantly in Turkey. While we aim to produce in London, we also believe in creating affordable ethical fashion. These European factories are accessible, hold certificates assuring fair treatment of workers and are more cost-effective which keeps our retail prices lower than other ethical brands.
We value good design, we value people, we value our planet and we value reasonable prices.
So each day we wake up knowing we are a part of the fashion solution and not a part of the fashion problem.
And we can sleep at night knowing we have lived out our purpose - by trying to make a fashion difference.
Want to get involved in this sustainable clothing movement?
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
- Margaret Mead
Make sure to participate on the main day which occurs on April 24. Post a pic showing your garment label and don’t forget to use the hashtags #whomademyclothes and #fashrev and tagging the fashion brand in question.
There are also a number of events planned around the country from movie screenings of The True Cost, pop-up shops and fashion-focussed art exhibitions.
You can see the full list of Fashion Revolution events here.
What if you don’t get a response from the fashion brand?
Please keep asking until you do. And if you don’t, please let us know! We want to help in any way we can. This is not just about commemorating Rana Plaza for us, although that is important. For us it’s about showing solidarity and helping conscious consumerism progress forward, on Fashion Revolution Day, Fashion Revolution Week and beyond.
We help our customers make better choices by offering them better fashion alternatives and we want to support you too.
After all, we’re all in this together.
So don’t forget to raise your voice against exploitation in the fashion industry, demand transparency, encourage dialogue and be a part of the Fashion Revolution. Let’s get together and be a force for fashion good.