Sustainability Sunday #16
FYIs for Fashion Revolution Week
On 24 April 2013, 1,134 people were killed and over 2,500 were injured when the Rana Plaza complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. That’s when Fashion Revolution was born.
On 18-24 April, Fashion Revolution Week will bring people from all over the world together to use the power of fashion to change the story for the people who make the world’s clothes and accessories. Awareness is raised by encouraging people to ask brands #whomademyclothes with the questions and responses shared across communication channels internationally.
Here’s a few things to think about ahead of Fashion Revolution Week:
What’s the point? The aim is to bring everyone in the fashion value chain together and help to raise awareness of the true cost of fashion, show the world that change is possible, and celebrate all those involved in creating a more sustainable future.
How many countries take part in Fashion Revolution? Over 80 countries take part in either asking brands who made their clothes, or telling brands which clothes they made.
Why does transparency matter? It encourages people to think differently about what they are wearing. If you had to make a garment yourself, you’d want to be making it in a comfortable environment right?
What are the environmental impacts of clothes? It takes nearly 3,000 litres of water to make just on t-shirt, that’s roughly the amount we drink over three years. Coloured clothes pollute land and water through the use of chemical dyes.
What happens to waste? Unbeknownst to many, waste begins at the very beginning – it’s estimated that we make 400 billion metres squared of textiles annually, 60 billion metres squared goes immediately to cutting room floor waste; nylon and leather can take up to 40 years to decompose in landfill AND 95% of discarded clothing can be recycled or upcycled.
What should you know that you probably don’t?
Fashion is the second most environmentally polluting industry in the world, oil comes first…
Discounts usually aren’t discounts, you’re buying the poorer quality or cheapest-to-source items
The CO2e emitted by us washing and drying our clothes in the UK equals 10 per cent of the amount of CO2e emitted from cars across the country
Anything with beads or sequins is usually a sign of child labour
250,000 Indian cotton farmers have killed themselves in the last 15 years, the majority from buying GM cotton seeds to try and make more money to live
There are more slaves in the world now than any other time in history. A high percentage of these are in the fashion industry and unlike slavery in the 18th and 19th centuries which was blatant and unquestioned, slavery today is hidden and veiled by the glorious CSR initiatives of large garment companies.