Image via indigenous.com
One year ago today, one of the worst industrial accidents in history occurred. An eight-story garment factory outside of Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka collapsed during work hours. 1,138 people died, which inspired the world’s first ever ‘Fashion Revolution Day’ today, April 24, 2014.
Fashion should be about diversity, celebrating culture and personal creativity. It is a travesty that is has turned into such a monstrous industry, enslaving people all over the world who work for almost nothing. 75 million people worldwide are employed by the fashion industry.
Dilys Williams, in her article “Fashion Revolution Day: What it is and why it’s important,” explains that the fashion industry has become one of the most complicated supply chains in the world. “It secures livelihoods, grows crops, applies emerging technologies, but does so with huge environmental and social costs.”
So, today was designed with the idea to encourage people to ask the question, “Who made your clothes?”
The deaths of the Bangladesh factory collapse were a direct result of our unquenchable thirst for cheap, ready fashion, which puts pressure on the producers to deliver on time and at a volume which factories are not fit for.
Fashion Revolution Day is asking people to wear their clothes inside out, making the statement of interest and awareness of where their clothing was made.
Environmentally, today’s fashion industry is nothing but negative. The goal of this new declared ‘day’ is to hopefully sway consumers to educate themselves on where their clothes are really coming from, and by doing so, push them towards more social and environmental-friendly clothing manufacturers.
A Greenpeace investigation from November 2012 found hazardous chemicals in clothing from 20 of the world’s leading fashion brands that were examined. Zara, the leading brand in fashion retail proved to have clothes that contain certain dye chemicals which can cause cancer-provoking amines. Other recognizable brands include Levi’s, Calvin Klein, Jack & Jones, and the list goes on.
Toxics Campaigner John Deans on Greenpeace explains findings, saying “The use of these toxic chemicals is an industry wide problem that is turning us all into fashion victims.” Now if it’s not good for us, we know how bad it is for our environment.
Yifang Li, a clothing detox campaigner at Greenpeace in East Asia suggests, “The textile industry continues to treat public waterways as little more than their private sewers. But our fashion doesn’t have to cost the earth: Our clothes don’t have to be manufactured with hazardous chemicals.”
According to Greenpeace.org, at least 8,000 chemicals are used to turn the Earth’s raw materials into wearable items.
Many of these chemicals are toxic and pollute the environment, local water, and cause serious harm to workers.
It’s a scary thought about what happens to our clothes when we are done with them, and the damage these chemicals are doing to our environment.
For the safety of our planet and our people, Fashion Revolution Day is the necessary reinforcement to find out where and from whom our clothes are from, and it is the inspiration for us to make smarter and more eco-friendly choices when shopping for clothing.