Lucy Morris | Fashion and Beauty Editor | Monday, 24 April 2017

Revolution Fashion Week

Forget LFW, This Is The Only Fashion Week Worth Caring About

The Debrief: Fashion Revolution Week puts a spotlight on one of the world’s fastest growing and most wasteful industries.

Today is the first day of arguably the most important fashion week. A twenty-minute walk from LFW’s main venue, in the hallow halls of Parliament, Fashion Revolution Week kicked off six days of international events. 

Following the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh in 2013, which was one of the worst garment factory disasters in history where 1,138 manufacturing workers were killed and a further 2,500 were injured, designers Orsola de Castro and Carry Somers sought to shine a light on the less attractive side of the clothing industry. Now in its third year, Fashion Revolution Week questions where clothes are made, who is producing them and what their lives are like. 

'Fashion Revolution Week is so important because people have the right to know that their money is not supporting exploitation, human rights abuses and environmental destruction. There is no way to hold companies and governments to account if we can't see what is truly happening behind the scenes. This is why transparency is so essential' Carry Somers told The Debrief.

With the support of celebrities like Lily Cole, Lauren Laverne and Stella McCartney, de Castro and Somers are trying to challenge the industry’s status quo by questioning: who is being hurt by cheap fashion. The buying, making and selling of clothing is one of the fastest growing industries, employing around 75 million people who are mostly (80%) women aged between 18 and 35. In the last 20 years, the business has grown by 400%, but environmental regulations of it have hardly altered. De Castro and Somers want to bring transparency to the industry, to create a more holistic fashion business model and for consumers and the titans of the industry to take responsibility for the waste and impact of our clothes. 

Unlike a traditional fashion week, don’t expect de Castro and Somers to be attending exclusive champagne soirees. Instead, they are spending this week campaigning for and with the public to ask brands #whomademyclothes and putting on a host of international events. Designers and fashion schools, like Istituto Marangoni, Katie Jones and Christopher Ræburn, are hosting Open Studios. Raquel Allegra will be holding a tie-dye workshop in LA, and Wilsen Willim will be giving a lesson in shirt making in Jakarta. To find out about Fashion Revolution Week events near you, click here

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