Fashion Revolution Week 20th – 26th April Online and Global
Fashion Revolution Week 2020 (20th – 26th April) is now underway with a packed agenda of online events, workshops and talks. Now, more than ever before, the industry is coming under increasing scrutiny and millions of people around the world are expected to participate in Fashion Revolution Week online.
The Covid-19 crisis has led to major brands and retailers shutting up shop and cancelling supplier payments and orders, without taking responsibility for the workers in their supply chains who mostly lack sick pay, paid leave, adequate health care and have no savings to fall back on. And beyond the devastating human and economic cost of the global coronavirus pandemic, seven years on from the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh, human rights abuses, modern slavery and environmental degradation remain rife within the industry.
Fashion Revolution’s focus this year will be on four key areas: Consumption, Composition, Conditions and Collective Action, showing how this unfolding situation is affecting the people who make our clothes, as well as the impact our clothing has on the earth and the oceans. The campaign will highlight what needs to happen to start to rebuild a fashion industry that values people over growth and profit and conserves and restores the environment as we come out of the other side of this global crisis.
On 21st April, the fifth edition of the Fashion Transparency Index will be published, the biggest to date, covering 250 of the world’s biggest fashion brands and retailers. The Index will show which brands are leading the way on transparency, which brands have seen the greatest improvement in their scores, and where there is more work to be done.
This moment proves exactly why transparency in the fashion industry is so vital and why we cannot afford to return to ‘business as usual’. If major brands and retailers are publishing information about how they do business with their suppliers, then we can hold them to account in situations like this. The Spotlight Issues of this year’s Index includes a section on brands’ purchasing practices which have come under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks.
Carry Somers, Co-Founder and Global Operations Director of Fashion Revolution said: “In the midst of this global pandemic, the need for citizens to hold brands and retailers to account is more pressing than ever before. Over the past weeks, we have seen the devastating impact of brands’ buying practices on some of the most vulnerable workers overseas. Now, more than ever, we need to keep asking #whomademyclothes and hold these brands, many of whom have made immense profits in recent years, to account for their actions.”
Fashion Open Studio will be the first international fashion showcase to produce an entirely digital schedule, with a packed programme of events from designers in the UK as well as across 12 countries. Throughout the week, the public will have unique direct access to interact with the designers who embed innovation and sustainability in their design and manufacturing processes. UK designers taking part include Phoebe English, Raeburn, and Bethany Williams and international designers include Kevin Germanier (France), Ka Sha (India), Kowtow (New Zealand) and Emmy Kasbit (Nigeria), Caralarga (Mexico) and Môi Điên (Vietnam). Many designers do not have access to their studios at present, so they are using this digital platform to connect with audiences through workshops and tutorials, conversations and discussions around sustainability with practical solutions and ways to engage creatively. This is a platform that celebrates transparency and shares real and positive solutions to create lasting change in the industry.
Whilst people are in isolation, they are more able and willing than ever to join the online community of fashion revolutionaries and amplify their voices by speaking up together. As in past years, Fashion Revolution will call on citizens to ask #WhoMadeMyClothes? and demand that fashion brands protect the workers in their supply, especially during this unprecedented global health and economic crisis. A new hashtag has also been launched for Fashion Revolution Week: #WhatsInMyClothes? By introducing a new campaign question and highlighting the findings from Carry Somers’ eXXpedition voyage to research microplastic pollution, Fashion Revolution will shed light on the substances hidden in our clothes.
In conjunction with Fashion Revolution Week ‘Ethical Brands’ is hosting a week-long series of events. The week kicked off on Monday 20th April with our very own CEO of Fashion-Enter Jenny Holloway, along with panel host Georgina Wilson-Powell – Pebble Magazine and panellists Sarah Montgomery – Everledger, Adam Siegel – Endless Clothes and Jo Salter – Where Does it Come From. The group opened the event to discuss many key questions such as; sustainability in fashion, why are changes taking so long, what are the challenges, is consumer demand changing supply, bringing down overconsumption and if Fashion Revolution Week is instrumental to change?
Jenny Holloway commented: “The panel discussion with Ethical Brands was a lively session and some great questions were asked from the participants too.
“What really came across is that even before Covid-19 it was a tough retail and etail environment for all brands but especially the small ethical brand that was struggling to get their voice heard. There are now opportunities and in some ways there is an even bigger kick back towards the “corporate homogeneous big brands” but when people are coping with anxiety, long shopping queues, a risk of redundancies – then buying clothes is reducing in importance.
“We are finding internally that the demand for our courses, short course for upcycling and repairs (after the lockdown) are on the increase and what can be more sustainable than that! Huge thank you to Jo Salter and guest speakers today for such an informative session. Have a great week ahead all.”
To find out what Ethical Brands for Fashion Revolution are doing throughout the week click here.
And to find out more about the Fashion Revolution campaign and the events that are taking place, visit www.fashionrevolution.org