In the midst of Fashion Revolution Week, which asks brands the seemingly simple question #whomademyclothes, the complexities and harsh reality of our fast fashion industry are once again in the spotlight.
This week marks the sixth anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh, in which 1,138 people were killed and thousands more injured. Fashion Revolution has been calling for transparency in the fashion industry ever since, with millions of people across the globe taking part.
Research shows clothes are among the items most at risk of being produced through modern slavery in an industry where women make up a significant 80% of the global workforce.
The environmental cost is high too, global textiles production emits 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases annually – more than international flights and maritime shipping combined.
Even worse, of the 53 million tonnes of fibres used to make clothes and textiles annually, 73 per cent are burnt or sent to landfill, according to Fashion Revolution reports.
But there are some great fashion brands creating stylish clothes in the right way, and this week is the perfect time to find them – especially if you’re in London.
Here’s three events to get you started:
Fashion Open Studio
Fashion Open Studio is hosting presentations, talks and open workshops to put sustainable fashion practices in the spotlight, working with the likes of Vivienne Westwood, Christopher Raeburn and Elvis & Kresse.
Know The Origin
Ethical clothes site Know The Origin is hosting a pop-up shop in Soho, along with a daily rota of events including an evening talk that questions Feminism in Fashion, on Friday 26 April.
Lone Design Club
The Lone Design Club has popped-up on Baker Street and BICBIM is taking part. Calling itself “the antidote to fast fashion” it celebrates independent designers – some with brilliant sustainable stories such as Yala Jewellery, which empowers artisans in Kenya; Asmuss, which invests in truly technical and innovative fabrics and Marianes, which is the embodiment of slow fashion with its collection of natural textiles and organic cottons.
There’s also menswear from Komodo, an ethical brand famous for dressing Leonardo DiCaprio in the Beach and Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider, that relaunched this year, and tailored swimwear from Riz, which has spent 10 years developing their range of shorts made from 100 per cent recycled plastics.