On 24 April 2013, 1,134 people were tragically killed and over 2,500 were injured when the Rana Plaza complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The Rana Plaza was an eight-story commercial building containing several clothing factories. It’s considered to be the deadliest garment factory accident in history and it brought the conditions in these factories into headlines around the world.
Cracks were discovered in the building the day before the collapse and despite the shops and bank on the lower floors closing immediately, garment workers were ordered to return to work the following day when the building collapsed.
It was later found that many safety rules had been violated and the collapse triggered uproar around the world. Bangladesh earns more than $20bn a year from exports (mainly to the US and Europe) and the fashion industry is a major player in that total, but the collapse highlighted the grim conditions in the garment industry.
Extremely low wages have led many global brands and retails to choose the country over China and other developing countries.
Fashion Revolution Day was born as a result of the Rana Plaza collapse. On the anniversary of Rana Plaza, Fashion Revolution Week brings people from all over the world together to demand change from the fashion industry.
Last year, over 70 countries around the world participated in Fashion Revolution Day. People challenged brands with #whomademyclothes to show that we care and demand better pay and conditions for the people who make our clothes.
People turned to social media, turned their clothes inside out and took selfies showing the labels. They sent those with a message to the brand thanking the makers and asking #whomademyclothes to demand more transparency from brands that are responsible for using cheap overseas labour.
Transparency is essential to changing the fashion industry. This year, Fashion Revolution have teamed with Ethical Consumer to publish a Fashion Transparency Index, which ranks companies according to the level of transparency in their supply change. The first edition includes 40 of the biggest global fashion brands, but unfortunately 40% of them do not appear to be monitoring compliance with labour standards.
The Behind the Barcode report published by Fashion Revolution in 2015 found that out of the 219 biggest fashion brands, only half actually know what factories their products are made in and only a quarter of brands know where elements like buttons, thread and even their fabric comes from.
A lot of middle-men are involved in fashion supply chains, so ensuring ethical standards is difficult. The lack of transparency costs lives.
It’s impossible for companies to ensure human rights are respected and that environmental requirements are met without knowing where their products are made. That’s why Fashion Revolution campaign for knowledge, information and honesty across the industry.
We’re proud to say that we work closely with our suppliers and the artisans who make our collections to ensure fair, safe and ethical standards across our supply chain. We’re supporting Fashion Revolution Day this week and you can too – find out more about how you can get involved here.
The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.