Fashion Revolution Day is on the annual anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster - the collapse of a clothing factory in Bangladesh where many high street fashion brands have their garments made. 1133 people lost their lives, and over 2500 were injured, many permanently disabled as a result.
Social and environmental disasters in our fashion supply chains continue - Fashion Revolution Day says enough is enough! The annual anniversary is a chance 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 for fashion. (http://fashionrevolution.org/)
Being passionate about this campaign, I was thrilled to be invited to exhibit an item of clothing as part of Fashion Revolution Day in Scotland, at the Lighthouse in Glasgow. Here, the Scottish Fashion Revolution team held a film screening, fashion flash mob, and pop up exhibition of 16 reclaimed garments - the average amount disposed of per person each year (WRAP, 2013). They aimed to support cherishability by showcasing a rich mix of techniques for refashioning your wardrobe.
I sent up my favourite cardi, which I wear daily to work and was gutted when I snagged it last year, resulting in a long laddered hole in the sleeve. I mended it by darning over the hole using a bright red yarn in a geometric design to suit the style of the garment. It is often complimented and a conversation starter, challenging people's view of what darning is. Which is exactly the point, showing repairs can be smart, stylish and ok to wear in the work place; more examples of my decorative darning can be found here. It was exhibited beside reclaimed garments by designers Becky Earley, Angela Karpouzi, Shirley McLauchlan, Iona Barker, and the Fashion Revolution Scotland team - Annalisa Simonella, Jen Ballie and Nikki Taylor - amongst others. Thanks to FRS for the images!
Back down in Nottingham, fellow NTU lecturer Helen Hill and I introduced Fashion Revolution Day to the 2nd year fashion and textiles students at their Visual and Material Delights research symposium. We played part of the very emotional and hard-hitting video below, and encouraged the students to get involved in the campaign, find out who made their clothes, and use their resources to incorporate design responsibility research into their own practice.
The video certainly encourages some reflection on our unsustainable fashion consumption habits, and I really hope the event helps to influence meaningful change in the fashion and textiles industry for a more ethical, sustainable future.
Warning - the following video contains graphic images some people may find disturbing!