It’s five years since Rana Plaza, an ordinary garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,138 and injuring many more.
The fact that those killed had been employed making cheap clothes for Western markets and that they had, until the day of the accident, been asking not to go into a building known for its instability, turned the incident – tragic, unjust, avoidable – into a wake up call.
The response was Fashion Revolution, the world’s largest fashion activism movement, founded to radically change the way our clothes are sourced, produced and purchased and to demand systemic reform of the industry.
This year, Fashion Revolution Week 2018 reaches its fifth year, running from 23- 29 April in more than 100 countries around the world.
It’s also a time for reflection: many things have improved for both people and planet – but many things stay the same. Poverty, human rights, low wages, discrimination, animal cruelty, environmental pollution and waste remain endemic. About 75 million people work directly in fashion and textiles and about 80% of them are women; many of them subject to exploitation, verbal and physical abuse.
Thousands of events around the world including catwalks and flash mobs, street art and film screenings will encourage everyone to join the Revolution and to keep asking: Who Made My Clothes?
Highlight of the schedule (details still to be released) is Fashion Open Studio, launched last year, curated by Tamsin Blanchard. Designers including Stella McCartney, Phoebe English, Christopher Raeburn, Community Clothing, John Alexander Skelton, Roberts|Wood, OneByMe, Katie Jones, Kepler London, Elvis & Kresse x Burberry Foundation, A-BCH, Manto Abrigos, Xu Zhi, and Vivienne Westwood will be taking part in a week of talks, workshops, picnics and radical quilting about the processes and people behind our clothes. Follow @fashionopenstudio on instagram.
Meanwhile, here’s how you can get involved.
April 10: Sew Green Ethical Fashion Talks
7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Have you ever wondered who made your clothes? How much they’re paid, and what their lives are like? Hear from the bloggers and designers leading the change in fashion. Tickets: £8. Please book in advance. All proceeds to Child.org
£8. Find out more here.
April 23 – 28: Pop Up Sample Sale at the London Sustainable Fashion Rooms at the Truman Brewery
10.00 am to 6:00 pm
From niche to norm: ethical fashion and footwear take centre-stage during Fashion Revolution Week in this week-long community hub and pop-up boutique curated by Po-Zu.
Free. The Old Truman Brewery, Shop 4 (opposite Rough Trade), Dray Walk, London E1 6QL. Get tickets here.
April 24: Fashion Revolution Week at Sarabande Foundation – Why Transparency Matters
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Co-founder Fashion Revolution, Orsola de Castro, talks to Emily Tilden-Smith from global leading law firm Baker McKenzie about the rising consumer demand for transparency around workers rights, the UK Modern Slavery act and what new brands need to look out for when developing their stance on sustainability.
Free. Get tickets here.
April 25: Conscious Shopping at The Hoxton
The Keep and The Hoxton join forces for a Conscious Shopping evening, part of the Hox How To: Shop Consciously (& Reduce your Fashion Footprint). The panels are fantastic.
Find out more here https://thekeepboutique.com
April 25: Fashion Revolution Week at UAL – River Blue screening
6.30 pm – 9:00 pm
The London College of Fashion screens River Blue, a documentary film, which examines the fashion industry, its impact on the world’s rivers and what we can do about it to inspire change for a brighter future. The screening will be followed by a panel of discussion.
Free. Get tickets here.
April 25: Fashion Open Studio at Vivienne Westwood
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Specially for Fashion Revolution’s Open Studio, Vivienne Westwood couturiers will guide guests through the design process and offer an insight into the evolution of the collections at Vivienne Westwood’s London atelier.
Free. 6 Davies Street, London,W1K 3DN. Find out more here.
April 26 Fashion Revolution Week at Sarabande Foundation – Slow Fashion 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm
Writer Tamsin Blanchard is in discussion with Katie Roberts-Wood and John Alexander Skelton of Sarabande Studios as they discuss their ‘slow-fashion’ practises – brands that work as an antithesis to the mass-production of the fashion industry.
Free. 22 Hertford Road, London N1 5SH
Get tickets here.
April 26: Eco Sewing Party!
6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Join Fabrications & Offset Warehouse, Tree (Stitchless TV) & Lydia (Made My Wardrobe) for a fun, creative and aspirational evening. The focus of this eco sewing party will be working with jersey/stretch materials.
£5.98. 7 Broadway Market, Hackney, London E8 4PH
Get tickets here.
April 26: Sustainable Design, Sourcing and Buying at the London Sustainable Fashion Rooms.
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
As ethical fashion moves from niche to norm, leading figures in the field including Safia Minney, Sven Segal, Tamsin Lejeune of Common Objective and Browyn Lowenthal, Lowie, champion new ways of sustainable sourcing.
April 28: Ethical Brands for Fashion Revolution
10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Independent ethical clothing brands from around the UK will come together at London’s Brand Museum to show consumers that there is a viable, ethical alternative to high street, fast fashion brands.
Free. Museum of Brands, 111-117 Lancaster Road, London W11 1QT.
Get tickets here.
April 28: Broadening the Media Debate on Ethical Fashion & the Vegan Revolution at the London Sustainable Fashion Rooms.
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Making sustainable fashion and lifestyle choices is about awareness and creating powerful systemic change. How are consumers, journalists, bloggers creating awareness and systemic change?
£8.14. Get tickets here.
For information, resources and more ways to act, visit www.fashionrevolution.org