People Are Asking Fashion Brands To Reveal Who Made Their Clothes For A Powerful Reason

"We believe that 1,138 is too many people to lose from the planet in one building, on one terrible day, to not stand up and demand change."

On April 24, 2013, an eight-story commercial building in Bangladesh called Rana Plaza collapsed, killing 1,138 people and injuring nearly 2,600. Most of the victims were garment workers and many of them were young women. There were five garment factories in Rana Plaza that were manufacturing clothing for the Western market. Our market. 

Every year since this this tragedy, Fashion Revolution, a UK-based non-profit dedicated to fighting for our clothing to be made in a safe, clean, and fair way, has held Fashion Revolution Week (April 24 - 30) starting on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse. 

"We believe that 1,138 is too many people to lose from the planet in one building, on one terrible day, to not stand up and demand change. Since then, people from all over the world have come together to use the power of fashion to change the world," the Fashion Revolution team wrote on their website. "The majority of the people who make clothes for the global market live in poverty, unable to afford life's basic necessities. Many are subject to exploitation; verbal and physical abuse, working in unsafe conditions, with very little pay."

The organization's #whomademyclothes campaign runs during Fashion Revolution Week, which aims to make the fashion industry more transparent by asking brands to reveal more information about their supply chain and the people who make their clothes. In turn, brands and producers are "encouraged to respond with the hashtag #imadeyourclothes and to demonstrate transparency in their supply chain." 

On social media, people are participating in the campaign by posting photos of themselves holding up a sign that says "Who Made My Clothes?," or wearing their clothes inside out with the labels showing, or a combination of both. They're tagging the clothing brand they're wearing and using the hashtag #whomademyclothes in an effort to get the brand to respond with more information on how and where their clothes are made. 

"As consumers, our questions, our voices, our shopping habits can have the power to help change things for the better. We are the driver of trends, and every time we buy something, we're voting with our wallet. When we speak, brands listen," the Fashion Revolution team wrote. "We deserve to know who makes our clothes and under what conditions."

We wanted to highlight some ethical fashion brands that have participated in this campaign and are proud to show you the people who make their clothes and accessories. They've shared photos of one or more of their garment workers along with signs or hashtags that say #IMadeYourClothes. Some have even shared a little bit about their garment workers or their commitment to be transparent about their practices. 

You can see some of their photos and read their captions below.

1. Marimekko

"Monday 24 April marks the yearly international Fashion Revolution Day for a more responsible garment industry. We are proud of our skilled supplier network and all the employees that have their own stories to tell. In the spirit of Fashion Revolution, we want to share some of them. Meet Klarika from Gevatex and other Marimekko's makers."

2. Statement

"Today is Fashion Revolution Day! Four years ago, Dhaka crashed into a daunting textile factory, with the worst industrial injury to the textile industry, more than 1130 people died, we want to recall the victims of the disaster. In order to draw attention to the most unfavorable conditions in textile factories and to rethink the fashion industry, more transparency is required for the fashion revolution day - the question WHO MADE MY CLOTHES should not only focus on today, but on every purchase of a garment!" 

3. The Knotty Ones

"Meet Marina, one of our fabulous knitters. We employ craftswomen, mostly stay-at-home moms, around Lithuania. The majority of them live in villages and small towns where jobs are extremely scarce. It's a great way for women to earn fair wages and provide for themselves and their beautiful families." 

Full Disclosure: The Knotty Ones was co-founded by an A Plus staff member.

4. Billebeino

"It's the Fashion Revolution Week and time for us to show the people behind your clothes. Pavithra works in the Quality Control team and is responsible for checking the garments before they are packed for shipping in India."

5. FatFace

"We truly value each of the individuals who help to make our clothes and are passionate about providing great working conditions across our supply chain. We're proud to support @fash_rev to promote greater transparency in the supply chain. This is why we want to show you who made your clothes!"

6. Studio 189

7. Selyn

"This is Sumith. He works in our dye plant. The journey of our products start there, with the dyeing of raw cotton yarn into vibrant colors only limited by your imagination! Sumith likes to play music during his free time and he helped make your clothes!"

8. Beaded Treasures Project

"Beaded Treasures Project empowers refugee women who have been resettled to Louisville, Kentucky by providing skills training and a path to self-sufficiency. Our jewelry is 100% handcrafted in Kentucky."

It's still very early on the campaign, but you'll notice that few major brands have participated in Fashion Revolution so far. The more people who post photos demanding transparency from their favorite brands, the more pressure that will be put on them to respond. If they still chose not to, you have to wonder if the reason why is because we wouldn't like the answer.

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