Fashion Revolution week happens every year around the week of the 24th April which is when the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh collapsed in 2013, killing 1,100 people and injuring 2,500, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history. Most of the clothes being made in the factory were for some of the biggest global fashion brands. Sadly most of the victims were young women. who made your clothes?
Fast Fashion consumption continues to increase at an unsustainable rate relying on a culture of disposability with around 38 million new garments being bought in the UK every week and 11 million ending up in landfill. Us, the consumer, must change on how we vote with our money when buying fashion. Asking brands to rethink their business models, buying from brands who are transparent in their supply chain and are supporting their workers and the environment. Spend on buying quality, capsule clothing garments that last and that are not just following ‘trends’. Wearing more preloved items or swapping clothes are other ways to be more sustainable with fashion or how about mending or upcycling clothing that is already in your wardrobe?
Since the Fashion Revolution began things are changing as more brands are being transparent about where and how their clothes are made. Manufacturers are making their factories safer and more producers are being seen and heard but there is still more voices to be heard and more factory workers to be paid fairly and looked after.
Ethics and sustainability is constantly evolving and is both challenging and inspiring but Tommy and Lottie are proud to be on this journey since they started in 2014. Their commitment to produce quality, capsule clothing made to last and because they are unisex designs this makes them easy to hand down and reuse.
Transparency is so important and how well people are treated, paid and looked after in any industry. Knowing where fabrics and materials come from, how the cotton is grown and produced, who makes it and how well they are looked after and what impact the clothing has on the environment.
Africa for example grows a large percentage of cotton but it is exported out of the country taking with it employment and jobs. T&L baby t shirts are made in Tanzania, Africa and are far more ethical and sustainable in the way they are made.
The cotton crop is grown near to the factory off the shores of Lake Victoria. The crop is taken to a local factory where the cotton is vertically produced so all of the processes that the cotton has to go through to become a tshirt is done in one place making the carbon footprint far lower than most.
The people who live in the local communities are then given jobs and taught skills at the factory so they are able to take themselves and their families out of poverty. They are well looked after too, paid over the minimum wage, have no forced labour or unfair overtime, have a clean, healthy, safe working conditions, one hot nutritious subsidised meal a day and no child labour.
The factory has the SA8000 certification which is the most stringent social audits and covers every stage of manufacturing and the cotton is certified oeko-tex 100 including class 1 for babywear which means the cotton contains no harmful chemicals or dyes so safe for babies skin.
By using plastic free embroidery and screen printing as the print processes this gives the clothing a much better quality finish that lasts longer as the designs don’t wear off and crack when washed and worn so much easier to hand down and reuse. The ink is water based and vegan friendly, totally free from any harmful toxins.
We need everyone to get behind the Fashion Revolution and this year 20th -26th April 2020 is Fashion Revolution Week so get involved with this global movement and ask your favourite clothing brands #whomademyclothes? #whatsinmyclothes?