It is unacceptable that some fashion brands are still failing to provide their employees with adequate working conditions and a minimum wage salary. They are taking advantage of their willingness to work hard. This year alone we have seen more than £1billion deducted from Boohoo’s value, as their workers in a Leicester factory were paid less than minimum wage and were not wearing face masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
However, Fashion Revolution are doing everything in their power to stop incidents like this from happening. They have a vision that one day the global fashion industry will value its environment and principles more so than growth and profit, and will not stop until this is achieved.
Inciting change begins with raising public awareness and their Fashion Transparency Index does exactly that; 2020's fifth annual edition reviewed 250 of the largest fashion brands across the globe. By ranking them according to how much information they provide about their social and environmental policies, practices and impacts, consumers can make their own judgement about where they want to shop.
Fashion Revolution merits transparency over anything. Without transparency there cannot be sustainability. Having said that, a fashion brand could disclose all of their information but this does not mean they are the most sustainable. Once Fashion Revolution gains an understanding of these brands, they identify who is moving too slowly and push for faster change. Furthermore, as this information is made readily available to anyone, it does not take long for consumers to find alternative places to shop if the brands do not align with their morals.
Not only do Fashion Revolution raise awareness, but they shed light on injustices within the industry. Each year they run Fashion Revolution Week on the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh. Seven years ago the building, which was the home of many garment factories and 5,000 employees, collapsed. Killing 1,134 and injuring more than 2,500, this was the fourth largest industrial disaster in history. Fashion Revolution Week honours those who lost their lives and reinforces that no one should die for fashion.
The Rana Plaza disaster reiterates the importance of transparency. The people at the incident had to search through the rubble to find out which fashion brands had factories in the building. How is it possible to respect the human rights of their workers if they are not even aware of where their factories are situated? It was an inexcusable error which cost innocent people their lives.
As well as urging brands to make changes to their practice, Fashion Revolution targets consumers. Our society has cultivated throwaway culture to become the norm and a shift needs to happen to ensure materials are in use for as long as they can be. By understanding the impact of their clothes and the decisions they make, people will come to realise that they play a large role in the rut that the fashion industry has found itself in.
We have Fashion Revolution to thank for some huge cultural, industrial and policy changes that have been made over the last seven years. However, they are not going to stop there. Until the global fashion industry treats its employees with the respect they deserve and moves further towards sustainability, their work is not complete.