The Rana Plaza collapse was a structural failure that occurred on 24 April 2013 in the Savar Upazila of Dhaka District, Bangladesh, where a five-story commercial building named Rana Plaza collapsed. The search for the dead ended on 13 May 2013 with a death toll of 1,134. Approximately 2,500 injured people were rescued from the building alive. It is considered the deadliest garment-factory accident in history, as well as the deadliest accidental structural failure in modern human history.
The building contained clothing factories, a bank, apartments, and several shops. The shops and the bank on the lower floors were immediately closed after cracks were discovered in the building. The building’s owners ignored warnings to avoid using the building after cracks had appeared the day before. Garment workers were ordered to return the following day, and the building collapsed during the morning rush-hour.
Why do we need a fashion revolution?
Because, as modern citizens have lost touch with the process and the people behind our clothes and products. We have forgotten that people make the things we wear and buy. When we buy cheap products we don’t think of who grew the materials, crafted the yarn, wove the fabric, cut out the pattern, and sewed it together. When we buy cheap things someone is paying a higher price for that somewhere; in unsafe work conditions, low unliveable wages, or long hours with no breaks. In 2018, we shouldn’t have these conditions or situations anywhere in the world.
Do you know who made your clothes? shoes? jewelry?
No, really. Do you?
If not, I’m sharing a few of my favorite brands that are open and transparent about the work they do to better the artisans they work with.
Elegantees– employs young women at risk of being trafficked in Nepal- use code: shelby for 10% off
Sseko Designs– employes high achieving young women between high school & college to earn scholarships to go to college
31 Bits– works with artisans worldwide providing financial education & continuing education
Noonday Collection– works with artisans worldwide and pays them a fair price for their goods
Oliberte– Fair Trade certified shoe factory in Ethiopia
ABLE– Works with artisans locally and globally
The Root Collective– handcrafted shoes and accessories from the La Limonoda region of Guatemala
PACT Apparel– uses organic cotton blends and eco-friendly dyes for basics you can feel good about
Elegance Restored– a small online fashion boutique that focuses on ethically made plus donates a portion of their profits to enable others to successfully adopt.
What’s the difference between fair trade and ethically made?
Fair Trade is a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency, and respect, that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers – especially in the South.
Fair Trade organizations have a clear commitment to Fair Trade as the principal core of their mission. They, backed by consumers, are engaged actively in supporting producers, awareness raising and in campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade.” They can be recognized by the WFTO logo (blue & green logo) or the Fair Trade Federation (FTF)
Brands that advertise themselves as ‘ethically made’ are not being overseen by any larger organizations. It’s up to them, to be honest, and transparent with their customers.
Ethically made is a bit of an umbrella term for morally caring for their employees and work conditions, while fair trade is a governed term where you must be a member of the organization to use.
Both fair trade & ethically made brands can register to become B-Corps, which “are for-profit companies certified by the nonprofit B Lab to meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.” (from HERE)
Why we need transparency.
Lack of transparency costs lives. It’s impossible for companies to make sure human rights are respected and that environmental practices are sound without knowing where their products are made. That’s why transparency is essential.
Transparency means companies know who makes their clothes – from who stitched them right through to who dyed the fabric and who farmed the cotton — and under what conditions. Crucially, it requires brands to share this information publicly.
If we know the facilities where our clothes are being made, if we have access to factory, mill and farm lists where brands are sourcing then the public can help hold the industry to account for bad practices and encourage good practices.
This is what Fashion Revolution is asking for. (from HERE)