27 Jan 2022
Who Made My Clothes
Many of you would have come across the hashtag #whomademyclothes across social media, but did you know how this movement started?
On 24th April 2013, a factory in Bangladesh called the Rana Plaza collapsed due to poor building conditions and took the lives of 1,138 garment workers and injured thousands more.
Orsola de Castro and Carry Somers, two UK based fashion activists decided that the fashion industry needed to wake up and fix the abhorrent social and environmental issues the industry causes, and kickstarted a global movement called Fashion Revolution which uses the hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes to raise awareness about what really goes on behind closed doors in the fashion industry.
The movement has been shared and engaged all over social media and over 100 countries.
A Workers Rights Report gives us grave insights into the shocking reality of garment workers who are trying to campaign against the abuse of their human rights- a picture that is filled of repression and intimidation. Desperate workers have been asking for more money since the minimum wage was raised in November 2018 to the equivalent of $22 a week, less than 45 cents an hour.
Consumers are no longer accepting opaque supply chains, where clothing is sourced according to the lowest cost and the fastest turnaround with no knowledge or regard as to how this is achieved.
The central tenet of this movement is transparency between consumer and brand. This is a social media movement for companies to keep the basic premise that their workers are seen, heard, paid properly and operating in safe conditions.
In conjunction, with ideals such as transparency, this campaign is also determined to minimise our footprint, by promoting second-hand shopping. Mills & York stand wholeheartedly by this campaign. In honour of this, we thought we would take the time to celebrate local movers and shakers in the fashion industry doing good and embracing everything that this movement has to offer.
Outland Denim makes premium denim jeans and clothes. They stand by ethical employment opportunities for women rescued from human trafficking in Cambodia. This Australian brand was founded as an avenue for the training and employment of women who have experienced sex trafficking.
Founded in 2013, Elle Evans Swimwear creates beautiful, sustainable, swimwear and activewear for people who care about fashion and the future. The brand uses post-consumer waste fabrics and traces all of its supply chains.
Mighty Good Basics aims to provide quality, affordable, organic and fair trade underwear, for both men and women. The brand uses GOTs certified cotton and uses renewable energy throughout its supply chain.
Born from brand owner Linda Smyth’s search for the perfect white tee, Bon Label’s products emulate that timeless French simplicity and elegance. They make their t-shirts from 100% organic cotton to perfectly match with your favourite denim on the weekend or a classic pin skirt in the office. Bon Label uses no animal products in their manufacturing and has a strong focus on ethical labour practice, everything we like to hear.
Ultimately, the best way to help our garment workers and be ethical as possible is to buy second-hand.
For more information, here are some useful resources:
- Fashion Transparency Index
- Ethical Fashion Australia
- GOTS Annual Report 2020
- Baptist World Aid Report + Fashion Guide