Today marks the beginning of Fashion Revolution week, which through it’s “Who Made My Clothes?” initiative aims to
bring everyone in the fashion value chain together and help to raise awareness of the true cost of fashion, show the world that change is possible, and celebrate all those involved in creating a more sustainable future
It also marks the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster, when on 24 April 2013, 1,134 people were killed and over 2,500 were injured in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Personally, I’d prefer that NO ONE dies so that I can have “cheap” clothes, so I’ve made the effort over the last couple of years to make my closet more sustainable and to be more thoughtful about what I choose to add to it.
There’s no such thing as perfect though, and all we can do it better, but asking for transparency on where our clothing is manufactured is a good way to start I think.
For me, “who made my clothes?” is about more than just the individuals who actually sew and manufacture my garments (although they are very important), it’s also about the designers and company as a whole. I try to take a holistic point of view and consider the corporate social responsibility of larger companies, in addition to where their products are manufactured, and for smaller designers, look at where they source their materials, and how each piece is created.
Larger corporations have a lot more to answer for in my opinion, since they have a much bigger footprint overall, but they also have a larger capacity to influence change, like Eileen Fisher is doing, and although I hate to admit it, as H&M tries to do with their conscious collection (I’m totally conflicted about that though, because it’s like, one hand does “good” while the other still has problems monitoring their supply chain, which is how disasters like Rana Plaza happen).
Smaller companies and designers aren’t immune to problems either, and just “made in the US” isn’t enough. So it’s up to each of us to dig deeper and discover more about the companies that make our clothes and how they take responsibility for their environmental and social impact, and then choose to support those who align with our ethics and values as closely as possible.
I’ll be taking a closer look at who made my clothes this week, will you?
Here’s who made my outfit today:
Eileen Fisher has a Social Consciousness department tasked with
- Supporting women through social initiatives that address their well- being.
- Practicing business responsibly with absolute regard for human rights.
- Guiding our product and practice toward sustaining our environment.
Acne Studios “aims to produce all products as responsibly as possible. This is a continuing process between Acne Studios and its manufacturers. Acne Studios is also collaborating with Fair Wear Foundation to ensure that the process is as secure as possible,” and, according to the foundation
Acne Studios has implemented most of FWF’s management system requirements and goes beyond several. The company has 92% of its suppliers under monitoring, hence meets FWF’s monitoring threshold. In the past financial year Acne Studios bought 76% of its supplier volume from factories where the company has significant leverage (at least 10% of the factory production capacity).
Veja is a leader in sustainable sneakers producing in Brazil using local components like low chrome leather, organic cotton, and natural rubber.
Who made your clothes?