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It's Time for a Fashion Revolution 2019

Gang, it's that time of year again - the time of year when we need to be holding brands within the fashion industry more accountable and demand transparency from them. It's time for the Fashion Revolution. This week (22nd - 28th April 2019), it is Fashion Revolution Week, a week-long push in "the global movement calling for greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry". Over the past 5 years of their activism, they have become the largest fashion industry movement and are continuously pushing for rights, transparency and education both in and about the fashion industry but as with most activist groups and movements, they rely on the support of the general public. Last year, I blogged about Fashion Revolution and why I think the movement is so incredibly important in today's consumer society and this year I want to continue supporting this movement as much as I can.

Their aim to change the way our clothes are sourced, purchased and produced are topics that are thankfully becoming much more "hot topic" amongst bloggers, YouTubers, influencers, and the general media alike. It seems that fast fashion has come more and more under fire from so many different avenues and are being rightfully questioned about anything and everything from how materials and fabrics are sourced, the conditions in which employees work, and the gap between the CEO wage and those who work below them. This year marks the 6th anniversary of the Rana Plaza Factory collapse. This factory collapse took place in Dhaka, Bangladesh and it killed 1,138 people and injured many more - making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history. As you can imagine, this spurred individuals from all corners of the globe and walks of life to scrutinise fashion supply chains and Fashion Revolution took that intrigue and desire for answers and built the movement that they have today.

Whereas last year I talked more about the movement itself and why it is so vital that we have such movements for education and awareness, this year I thought I'd delve more into what you can do to support Fashion Revolution and be an activist in the fashion industry in general; regardless of how much time, resources, or support you have!

1. #whomademyclothes
One of the biggest driving forces during Fashion Revolution week is asking brands "who made my clothes". This is one of the easiest ways to get involved in the movement as you simply need to Tweet, Facebook post, or Instagram post brands with the hashtag - whomademyclothes. The idea behind this simple # is to force brands to answer - the more people asking the question, the more pressure brands will be under to listen and answer. This helps promote this idea of transparency and helps us as consumers actually acknowledge, celebrate, and thank the garment workers behind each item we own. Tweeting is pretty easy as you just need to tweet the brand in question with the hashtag too but, if you want to head over to instagram, get your tag out of your top, dress, coat etc. and do exactly the same. You can also consider emailing or sending a letter to a brand too if you feel you have more to say than the character limits of social media allow. Using your voice is the easiest way to get involved and makes the whole movement stronger.

2. Sign the Manifesto
It's sad to see, but upon writing this blog post there were only 7,115 signatures on the Fashion Revolution Manifesto. Although it's fantastic that many individuals have already signed it, just imagine the greater impact this manifesto *could* have if we all took not even 5 minutes out of our daily lives to sign and support it. Fashion Revolution clearly lay out their manifesto step-by-step on their site and it includes everything from equal and fair pay, to eradicating enslavery, endangerment, exploitation, and discrimination of anyone in the industry, to making sure fashion becomes a more circular economy and stops damaging the environment. By aiming to liberate workers, promote diversity, and safeguard ecosystems, it is difficult to see any reason not to sign the manifesto. Signing up is super easy and only requires your name, email address, and a reason why you're signing. You can sign up to the Fashion Revolution newsletter at the same time and access hundreds of instagram stories, quotes and more from likeminded individuals who have already signed up to the movement.

3. Follow Fashion Revolution social media!
Something *so* simple that we often overlook it but, by following Fashion Revolution on their social media accounts, you are demonstrating support and power in a collective conscious. Not only that but social media sites give you a chance to feel more involved with other likeminded people, the movement itself, and stay up to date with any news or events that may be happening. The movement has various accounts that you can support and here are just a few linked to the UK:
Facebook Fashion Revolution page
Facebook Fashion Revolution Scotland page
Twitter Fashion Revolution page
Twitter Fashion Revolution Scotland page

4. Free resources - knowledge is power!
Fashion Revolution are very transparent themselves and thus you have free access to action kits, booklets, educational resources, reports and more (all right here). Access to these resources is fab as it means you can spread the message further and also gain some ideas for your own spending habits so you can try to make more sustainable fashion choices and take part in things like #haulternatives.

5. Become an ambassador or get your brand involved
The Fashion Revolution movement isn't limited to a general public level. Brands, wholesalers, distributors and students are all encouraged to take part. If you're brand-related, sharing stories and supply chain information is great and for you students out there at college or university, how about becoming an ambassador and hosting your very own event on campus?

6. There's a podcast for that
Although the podcast isn't bursting at the seams with episodes, listening to it can certainly boost the numbers and show Fashion Revolution that there is support out there. If you're particularly interested in the garment workers' rights and voice-side of the activism, you need to check these episodes out as they can be eye opening.

7. Is art and journalism more your thing? Buy the Fanzine
Okay so you only need to flick through a couple of images of the latest fanzine to see how wonderful they are. These bi-annual collectable zines are packed full of great articles, discussions, and artwork focusing on varying aspects of the movements focus. This current issue is exploring craft and culture and discusses globalisation, the future of craft, and cultural appropriation. They're sustainably created in the UK on recycled paper so they stick to good ethics too!

8. Donate donate donate
Fashion Revolution are a registered charity here in the UK which means you can donate money and time to support the movement. You can support Fashion Revolution all year round and become a regular monthly donor, make a one-off payment, set up a fundraising page for Fashion Revolution Week to encourage family, friends, and colleagues to get involved (and you could even ask companies to match your donation too!), or host an event and donate any money raised from it. Although donating money isn't an option for everyone, it's certainly there if you want to support the movement at any point throughout the year and every little bit will help towards making a change.

9. Attend an event
Speaking of events on that last suggestion, there are Fashion Revolution events hosted all over the globe and all throughout the year - not just during Fashion Revolution Week! These events can range from local companies and independent businesses coming together to celebrate their crafts and selling their wears as advocates of fashion transparency to exhibitions in museums and art studios, to money off sustainable capsule wardrobes and workshops on how to reduce, reuse, recycle, and repair your garments. There's bound to be something for everyone out there and by supporting these events, you help keep Fashion Revolution not only supported, but on the map in the public eye as it helps the movement keep an active voice when Fashion Revolution Week winds down. You can search what upcoming events are in your country, here.

Hopefully this post has helped highlight all the many great things Fashion Revolution (particularly this week) are doing and how you can support and be part of their activism. I always find that this week is humbling and grounding and reminds of how passionate I am about sustainable and ethical fashion. It helps me realign my own ethics and purchasing choices and focus on the underlying parts of the fashion industry most of us tend to overlook because we consume without care or consideration. Although I always feel like I could be doing more and certainly want to *do* more the older I get, taking part in Fashion Revolution Week in any sort of capacity is helping voices to be heard and changes to be made in an industry that is so large and powerful.

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