It is time to dress responsibly. At least, that is what the voices from 88 countries that took part in the Fashion Revolution Day on April 24, said. It marked the third anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which killed 1,133, and injured over 2,500 people.
It is not just about a solitary disaster, the message of the movement is to raise awareness about the fact that the farmers and factory workers at the bottom of the supply chain of the fashion industry are nearly absent from the consciousness of the industry and are often in a perilous state. The movement seeks to challenge this and demonstrate commitment to transparency across the length of the supply chain from farmers to factory workers, brands to buyers and consumers.
Parveen Dusanj, wife of Kabir Bedi, shows off her label
As a part of the movement, Fairtrade India is organising a weeklong campaign, Show Your Label in India with events across towns and cities in India. Throughout the week, people from different parts of the country will be encouraged to wear their clothes inside out showing their labels and asking ethical questions to the brands on social media. For this, they will need to upload their pictures on social media with the hashtag #WhoGrewMyClothes and #WhoMadeMyClothes.
An illustration used for the campaign
Devina Singh, campaigns and outreach manager Fairtrade, points out that with more awareness of the crisis of farmers and workers and the unethical practices, it is now important to be conscious of what we wear. “The clothes we wear reflect who we are, it’s the skin we put on for the world. My personal style statement cannot be one that exploits anybody in the name of fashion. I love my fashion and love my farmers. Working on the cotton campaign for Fairtrade, I’ve had the privilege of visiting farmers and garment factory workers all over the country and I want to ensure that more brands make a commitment to supporting the people who grow and make our clothes,” she says.
Shweta Malhotra, who created illustrations for the campaign
City girl Shweta Malhotra, who designed the campaign’s illustrations, says she had not thought about the plight of the farmers and workers earlier. “They are the backbone of the fashion industry. I learnt of their condition after interacting with Devina, and now am happy to have been associated with this campaign,” she says. The illustration for the campaign, she adds, had to be literal and yet convey the intensity of the issue. “This made the project interesting and challenging at the same time,” she says.
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