Who Made My Clothes
Fashion Revolution is a week to commemorate the Bangladeshi Rana Plaza factory disaster 24th April 2013, where over 1000 workers lost their lives making garments for some of the biggest names on our high streets. Every year since, fashionrevolution.org hosts a series of events around the world, from lectures and workshops to fashion shows and pop up events to bring to our attention the effects of fast fashion supply chains on people and the planet. #whomadeyourclothes.
This year, however, fast fashion retailer H&M launches World Recycling Week during the same week. Nothing wrong with that you might ask…..
“Yes: H&M’s commitment to becoming a more ethical operator should not be understated. The company is the largest buyer of organic cotton in the world and they have a whole range, H&M Conscious Exclusive collection, which is made from “more sustainable materials to be worn for special events and occasions as well as for everyday dress up”. Furthermore, in H&M’s 2012 sustainability report, it recorded it made 2.5 million pairs of shoes using lower-impact-water-based solvents; that it used recycled polyester, equivalent to 9.2 million plastic bottles; that 7.6% of its cotton is organic and that it will be 100% organic by 2020. Compared to other fast fashion companies, H&M should be commended for these steps.
But the production standards of H&M’s Conscious Exclusive collection is the exception, not the rule, which underpins the fact that the rest of H&M’s fibres and production processes are as ethically dubious as the rest of the fast fashion industry. According to Inditex, via the Guardian, H&M is the second biggest fashion company in the world, second only to Zara. It sells more than 550 million garments every year, and in 2012 announced net profits of $412 million, which I’m guessing contributes to landfill (considering in the UK and Australia we each, on average, throw out 30kg of clothing per year). ”
Well said Catalogue Magazine!
It’s a tasteless gesture for those still mourning the Rana Plaza factory collapse, particularly when, ” a review of corrective action plans relating to 32 of H&M’s strategic suppliers, carried out this week, shows that the majority of these factories still lack adequate fire exits nearly three years after H&M committed to improve working conditions by signing the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety.” CleanClothes.org
Really H&M?? You’d think to have the audacity to undermine a genuinely worthwhile cause to improve the safety of all stakeholders within the fashion supply chain is bad enough, until you learn of the huge marketing budgets spent to deliver a grandiose music video, hiring a renowned socially motivated celebrity. Shake my head.To lighten the mood, we’re offering you a few events supporting Fashion Revolution week. Firstly we’ve joined forces with other British made ethical & sustainable designers as an Independent Ethical Design Collective to bring you a curated Pop Up sale in the heart of London.
Monday 18th- Sunday 24th April
Atelier Tammam, 5 Hastings St, Bloomsbury, London, WC1H 9PZ
Register for your free ticket here.
Later in that week, we’re taking part in The NO EXCUSES Workshop- learn why, how and where to shop on #fashrev day hosted by queen sustainable stylist reknowned for her style-swapping aka swishing events, Daisy Schubert of Wardrobe Workshop. Creative MD & Founder of Kitty Ferreira, Val, will be delivering discussions alongside other ethical designers aboard Le Sorelle boat.
Friday 22nd April
Le Sorelle – Canary Wharf – 1 Thames Quay, London E14 9SG
Register for your free ticket here
For more Fash Rev world wide events, check out their website!