Tomorrow, 24h April 2014 is the first anniversary of the horrific Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh where 1130 factory workers tragically lost their lives.
For what? To put the shirts on your back.
Since I wrote my first blog about the fate of the garment workers I have been showcasing small ethical brands and in doing so have changed my own shopping habits.
However, despite the loss of lives and global publicity surrounding the disaster business is booming for the fast fashion industry. The sustainable message ‘we don’t need to buy more we need to buy better’ just isn’t getting out there. Teenagers of generation Y only know cheap, disposable garments and are addicted. They don’t want an alternative to a £4 t-shirt or £10 pair of jeans they’ll wear a couple of times then bin because they can afford to.
So what has changed for the better in a year?
The Bangladesh accord was set up -an independent, legally binding agreement designed to make all garment factories in Bangladesh safe workplaces. It includes independent safety inspections at factories and public reporting of the results of these inspections. By boycotting fast fashion brands entirely would be out of fashion as it would threaten the livelihood of people that desperately need these jobs. The Bangladesh accord is an essential implementation to stop the exploitation these workers are exposed to.
The UK brands that have signed include:
Arcadia Group ( Topshop, BHS, Miss Selfridge, Wallis, Evans)
Danielle Group plc
Marks and Spencer
N Brown Group
OTL Brands Ltd
Shop Direct Group
The worry is as demand grows the industry will seek out new places to produce, without restrictions, making another Rana Plaza inevitable.
Public consumer pressure is essential to show the fast fashion industry more transparency is needed and they are still not doing enough. A sustainable future must be forged across the industry and Rana Plaza must stand for something.
There are many ways to remember, show your support and mark the event tomorrow:
Turning fashion into a force of good. Who made your clothes? Wear it #InsideOut
Join People Tree for an evening of debate with leading ethical fashion commentators and learn more about the garment industry:
At 11am on Thursday 24th April a Twitter vigil for the victims of the Bangladesh building disaster will take place hosted by Ms Wanda #rememberingbangladesh
Raising for Rana is showcasing donated items from various worldwide ethical brands – these items are all available to bid on via this auction site. All the profits raised through the event will go directly to the families affected by the Rana collapse. There are some lovely things on the auction I have been bidding like crazy!!
Come on people join the fashion revolution!