Why Fashion Revolution is more important now than ever

In the lead up to planning 2020’s Fashion Revolution Week, the world went into an unprecedented lockdown due to Covid-19. This global crisis has made the failings of the fashion system very clear and many people along the supply chain are suffering, but perhaps the worst hit are the factories that have been left to foot the bill for the world’s fast fashion addiction.

Bloomberg reports that about 1,089 garment factories in Bangladesh have had cancellations worth roughly $1.5 billion due to the coronavirus outbreak, over 1 million workers have lost their jobs due to buyers failing to pay for cancelled shipments. The AWAJ Foundation says that many factories in Bangladesh have been shut down indefinitely. Some workers were given less than a month’s salary as severance and many others have received nothing at all. 

Fashion Revolution is a global activism movement that works for a more sustainable fashion industry by campaigning for systemic reform, with a specific focus on environmental and social impacts, and the need for greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. The Fashion Revolution vision is a fashion industry that values people, the environment, profit and creativity in equal measure.

The non-profit organisation has a presence in over 100 countries around the world and Fashion Revolution Week is the annual campaign of the movement that launched in 2013, in response to the tragic Rana Plaza factory disaster which resulted in the deaths of 1138 garment workers and serious injuries to many more. Aside from Fashion Revolution Week which is hosted this year from the 20th – 26th April, Fashion Revolution works all year round to raise awareness of the industry’s most pressing issues, advocate for positive change and celebrate those who are on a journey to create a more ethical and sustainable future for fashion.

Last year Fashion Revolution was involved in over 500 global partnerships, worked with 112 policy makers engaged in 18 countries, supported over 200 student ambassadors and hosted over 1800 events in 60 countries to raise awareness about the social and environmental impacts of the fashion industry and to advocate for change.

In 2020 the focus of Fashion Revolution’s campaign is the four C’s – Consumption, Conditions, Collective action and Composition. They are encouraging everyone to think about the amount of fashion that is being consumed and at what cost, the conditions of all workers along the supply chain from factory floor to shop front, what we can do together to bring about positive change and question what materials our clothing is made from.

Follow @Fash_Rev_NewZealand on Instagram or @FashRevNewZealand on Facebook. Together we can take collective action for a more transparent industry that values people, the planet, prosperity and creativity in equal measure. 

Written by Rose Jackson, Fashion Revolution NZ Assistant Country Coordinator. Rose comes from a long line of crafty women and is a champion of vintage and sustainable style. She has been involved in the fashion industry for nearly 20 years, from manufacturing to creative direction, and one of her latest projects involved curating the Auckland Council public programme for NZ Fashion Week 2019, focusing on sustainable community-led fashion activities.  Rose is a trustee of the NZ Fashion Museum and guardian of second-hand retail guide Collectors Anonymous. She is a regular MC, judge and speaker at fashion events around New Zealand and has featured in print, radio, online and on TV. Rose is in love with the storytelling qualities inherent in clothing and cares as much about the hand that made the garment as the garment itself.

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