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What is Fashion Revolution Week? (And How to Take Part)

What is Fashion Revolution Week, the artyologist

Here we are already, almost at the end of April, and this means that Fashion Revolution Week is almost upon us. Next week, April 24-30th is Fashion Revolution Week 2017, and I am getting ready to take part. I thought though, that some of you may not know about Fashion Revolution, so I thought I would share with you some of the “events” going on next week, so you can get ready to take part too.

So, what is Fashion Revolution Week? Well, it is a global movement which seeks to create transparency, sustainability and ethical standards within the fashion industry. The fashion industry is one with more than a few dirty secrets, and the Fashion Revolution organization works to generate awareness about the issues and injustices garment and textile workers around the world face. In their own words, “We want to unite the fashion industry and ignite a revolution to radically change the way our clothes are sourced, produced and purchased, so that what the world wears has been made in a safe, clean and fair way.

Fashion Revolution Week comes once a year, and falls on April 24th, marking the anniversary of the tragic 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Rana Plaza factory collapse, which is the largest and deadliest garment industry tragedy to date, resulted in 1,138 deaths (including both garment workers and rescuers) and injured over 2,500 people. Sadly, even though it is the largest tragedy, it was not the first to take place within the fashion industry, and it has not been the last either. There are many factories which are, quite simply, disasters waiting to happen. When word of the Rana Plaza building collapse hit the news, back in 2013, many consumers at the time, expressed outrage, claimed that the situation was terrible, and shameful and demanded transparency within the industry and improvements in the working conditions of the garment workers. But, like many other tragic news stories: people move on. Fashion Revolution was created in order to keep the issues alive, to keep people aware of what is going on within the fashion industry, and to keep asking questions, and encouraging us, the consumers, to ask brands and retailers, “who made my clothes”?

The fashion industry is one that is not fully “automated”. Someone, somewhere in this world made the clothing on the rack at your local shop. It may have been sewn by a machine, but someone was running that machine, and feeding the fabric through it. There are an estimated, 60-70 million people worldwide who work in the garment and textile industries, and about 3/4 of those workers are female. Some of those workers are treated well and are paid a fair wage, but many are taken advantage of and mistreated. Fashion Revolution Week gives people an opportunity to ask questions about how are garments are being made, who made them and what conditions they made them in. And of course, the goal is to be a part of helping to create change for the lives of these workers.

This year, Fashion Revolution has come up with several great ways to get involved in the event.

The first way to be involved is to ask brands, “Who made my clothes?” You can do this by showing the label on your clothes (like my picture above) and then asking the brand #whomademyclothes? You can do this on twitter, instagram or facebook. I’ll be taking part on instagram. Don’t forget to tag the brand in your post, so they’ll get the notification, and see your question!

There are a few new ways ways I am going to be involved, outside of social media, this year as well.

One is by sharing a fashion “Love Story”. I thought this was such a great idea on their part- by getting people excited about the clothing we already own and love we will start to think differently about impulse buys, cheaply made garments and “fast fashion fixes”. I’m going to be sharing one of my fashion “love stories” next week.

Another idea, is to share a “haulternative”, (fashion “haul” and “alternative” combined). This is a chance to refresh your wardrobe, without buying new clothes. I will be sharing some of my recent thrift shop finds next week, but there some other ideas for ways to take part in the haulternative.  Some of their great ideas for taking part are upcycling, mending, swapping or second hand finds.

They also have a template for writing a letter to a brand, in order to ask more directly, “who made my clothes”. I might be sending a couple of letters next week too. As for as other ways, last year I remember that there was also an “I made my clothes” event going on, where seamstresses and textile makers were sharing what they have made for themselves etc. so I might be taking part in that too. A lot of this will be going on over on Instagram, but I have those two posts lined up for this blog.

*UPDATE* I have since found out that, yes there will be a #makersforfashrev event going on this year too, hosted by Emily of In The Folds. Here is the “poster” for that. And feel free to share this image, Emily said, as the more people know about this event, the better!

makers for fash rev

If you want to take part in the event this year too, (last year there were over 70,000 participants) there is a pdf created by Fashion Revolution, with all the ideas on how to take part, here. Also, check out to see if there is an event in your area, on their page here. I am really excited for this years Fashion Revolution- because as each year passes, the event gets bigger and bigger- and though at times it may seem like an uphill battle, I know that changes are taking place in the fashion industry, ethical fashion is becoming more and more available and some of the bigger fashion brands are taking transparency seriously as well. Little by little change is coming, and it feels so good to be a part of that, in my own small way. We can’t be responsible for the actions of others, but we can each take a bit more care in the fashion and purchasing choices that we make for ourselves. I can’t wait to see what everyone is doing next week, and I hope you’ll join in the movement too!

Favourite Internet Finds Friday (How’s That for Alliteration?)

Favourite Internet Finds Friday, the artyologist

For your reading pleasure. . .

As much as I love the past, I would definitely not want to live in any era other than this one. For many reasons, but I would say the main reason is the internet. I could not live without the internet. Well, OK I guess I could. . . but I wouldn’t want to! I love seeing what other people are writing about on the internet, so I thought I would share some of my favourite internet finds I’ve read lately! I hope you enjoy!

  • This article from a while back made me sad, as it details how little has actually been done to improve worker safety in Bangladesh after the 2013 factory collapse, but it has renewed my commitment to doing my part and not slacking in my commitment to fair trade fashion!
  • On that note, this article by the same blog, has some good tips on how to start shopping consciously. Little steps is the key to making it manageable.
  • Emileigh from Flashback Summer has been sharing some excerpts of an interview with Christian Dior in a vintage issue of “Women’s Home Companion”. The articles are an excellent peek into the fashion of the era, and also offer invaluable advice about dressing for short ladies, large ladies, tall ladies and dressing within your budget. She has a couple more posts planned in the next weeks, as it is a six part series. I can’t wait to read the rest of them!
  • Did you know that it is Fair Trade Month, and Slow Fashion October? I must have been living under a rock, as I didn’t know that, until it was already October. . . and really, this sort of thing is right up my alley! Anyways, I found out about it now, and while I still haven’t participated (yet!), it is so encouraging to see so many other people thinking about slow fashion, and how to make it a part of their lives. I’ll probably get around to posting something on instagram one of these days too . . . Are you participating in the official “Slow Fashion” event?
  • These lovely outfits by fellow bloggers, Jessica of Chronically Vintage, Devinne of Mox and Socks, and Nora of Nora Finds are really putting me in the mood for Fall. Which is good, considering that it is Fall. And in fact, now that we have snow here, in good ol’ Alberta. I should be dressing for Winter I guess, rather than Fall. Time for the wool coats. . .
  • I have been listening to the soundtrack of “Far from the Madding Crowd” on repeat since sometime in. . . July? (Whenever it was that I watched the movie). It seriously never gets old. If you go and listen to it, you will have it on repeat too. . . don’t say I didn’t warn you!

So, have you found any good reads lately? And, could you easily live without the internet? Or is it a mainstay in your day to day life?