Fashion Revolution Week 2017

Something a little different today.

It’s been 4 years since the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh, which killed over 1100 garment workers. After that disaster, a non-profit called Fashion Revolution was founded, with the aim to “unite people and organisations to work together towards radically changing the way our clothes are sourced, produced and consumed, so that our clothing is made in a safe, clean and fair way.” (Read their “About” page here.)

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Photo source: http://fashionrevolution.org/ 

Starting today, it’s Fashion Revolution Week, where people are invited to show their clothing labels on social media and as the brands, “#Whomademyclothes?” The goal is to raise awareness, and show brands and governments that people actually care about ethical sourcing and transparency. There’s a sign you can print off here to hold in your photo if you want.

At the same time, makers all over the world will be photographed in their workspace saying, “I made your clothes”. I don’t know about you, but when I look at these pictures, I’m acutely aware that hobby sewing for oneself is a luxury few can afford!

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Photo source: http://fashionrevolution.org/

In Canada this year, Fashion Revolution has an additional theme: “This year we will focus on the fashions made close to home. Who are the people in your life that make, repair, pick, design, rework, style and salvage your clothing?” Makers, that’s us!

They go on to say that they are looking for pictures or video of:

  • “Your local tailor.
  • The pickers at your favourite vintage shop.
  • Your neighbour who knit you a scarf.
  • The owner of the eco baby clothing store around the corner.
  • Your grandmother the quilter.
  • Your niece who has committed to 1 year without buying anything new.
  • Your father who taught you how to repair the button on your jacket.
  • The designer you read about who makes a ZERO waste clothing line and you just ordered a garment.”

You can follow the Canadian branch at @fash_revcanada or online at http://fashionrevolution.org/country/canada/  . It seems like a good chance to represent our sewing community, and make it visible for people who are perhaps interested in starting sewing… but more importantly, to support safe and fair manufacturing and accountability for brands and government.

Of course, sewing the clothes is only one step in the manufacturing process… and just because we did the sewing doesn’t mean that our garment is magically virtuous! There’s the farmers, the weavers, the dyers,  and all the other people involved in production before that bolt of fabric arrives at our local store. So perhaps for us, our action should be to ask indie fabric stores and well-known fabric lines, “#Whomademyclothes?” 

**As my post goes live, I see that By Hand London have an @fash_rev competition going on Instagram: tell them your story of why you started sewing by midnight GMT for a chance to win a  prize. @clareyszabo, who is one of the most eco-conscious sewists I know, is wearing a me-made items every day, and an item wshe’s worn more than 30 times, and sharing on IG. Hopefully there will be lots more people joining in by the end of the day!


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