A couple of days after the Rana Plaza disaster, on the Sunday evening, I ran myself a hot bath and, uncustomarily for me, I didn’t have an Archers podcast to occupy my mind. I would love to take credit for Fashion Revolution Day being a well-crafted idea, mulled over and honed until I was ready to share it with the world. But no, the concept of Fashion Revolution Day literally popped into my head.
A few minutes of consideration was all it took. I jumped out of the bath and emailed the most obvious person I could think of to run past this idea, Orsola de Castro, co-founder of Estethica at London Fashion Week and the queen of upcycling. The next morning, having received Orsola’s enthusiastic response, Lucy Siegle, who writes the Ethical Living column for the Observer, phoned me and was equally convinced that an annual Fashion Revolution Day was the right response. We felt that it was needed not just to commemorate all those who have died in the name of fashion, but to ensure that the many lives lost at Rana Plaza would be the impetus to bring about real change in the fashion industry.
We deliberated over our first email to potential board members and eventually sent our initial concept for the day out to a wish-list of around 30 people who we thought would be the key figures to make this day happen. The response took us completely by surprise – almost everyone we contacted wanted to be involved.
The reply from Clare Lissaman “Yes. Yes. Yes. Great idea” was typical of the many we received in response to our Invitation to start a Fashion Revolution.
Six months today since the tragedy at Rana Plaza, Fashion Revolution Day has become a truly global movement. Baroness Young of Hornsey who set up the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion said “Fashion Revolution Day promises to be one of the very few truly global campaigns to emerge this century” We have Boards not just in the UK but in the US and Australia and engagement from the cotton farmers up through the entire supply chain.
Fashion Revolution is a global movement calling for greater transparency,
sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry.
We want to unite the fashion industry and ignite a revolution to radically change the way our clothes are sourced, produced and purchased, so that what the world wears has been made in a safe, clean and fair way.
On the 6th anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1,138 people and injured many more in 2013, we encourage millions of people to ask brands #whomademyclothes and demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain.
The more people who ask #whomademyclothes, the more brands will listen.
Use your voice and your power to change the fashion industry.
Together we are stronger.
Fashion Revolution is a not-for-profit global movement with teams in over 100 countries around the world. Fashion Revolution campaigns for systemic reform of the fashion industry with a focus on the need for greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. Fashion Revolution has designated the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh as Fashion Revolution Day. In 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 millions of people around the world called on brands to answer the question Who Made My Clothes? The hashtag #whomademyclothes became the no.1 global trend on Twitter.
Fashion Revolution Day takes place annually on 24 April, the anniversary of the 2013 Rana Plaza building collapse when 1133 died and over 2500 were injured. In 2016, it expanded into Fashion Revolution Week.
The first Fashion Revolution Day took place on 24 April 2014. Fashion Revolution’s hashtag #insideout was the no. 1 global trend on Twitter.
The second Fashion Revolution Day took place on 24 April 2015. The global reach from online news and broadcast media was 16.5 billion and 63 million people from across 76 countries made the hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes the number one trend on Twitter The YouTube video The 2 Euro T-Shirt – A Social Experiment had over 6.5 million views and won a Cannes Lions award.
In its third year, Fashion Revolution activities took place over a week, from 18–24 April 2016. This first Fashion Revolution Week began with Fashion Question Time at the UK Houses of Parliament. and the launch of the first edition of the Fashion Transparency Index which scored 40 of the biggest global fashion companies on the information they disclose to stakeholders and the public about social and environmental issues across their supply chains.
In 2016’s Fashion Revolution Week, events took place in over 90 countries around the world. Over 70,000 people around the world asked brands #whomademyclothes with 156 million impressions of the hashtag on social media. G-Star Raw, American Apparel, Fat Face, Boden, Massimo Dutti, Zara and Warehouse were among more than 1200 fashion brands and retailers that responded with photographs of their workers saying #imadeyourclothes. Fashion Revolution achieved online media reach in April 2016 of 22 billion.
On 26 October 2016, Fashion Revolution’s €2 video, A Social Experiment was ranked no. 7 in the top global PR campaigns of the year at the Global Sabre Awards ceremony. The video has received over 7.5 million views.
In its fourth year, Fashion Revolution Week took place from 24–30 April 2017. On Fashion Revolution Day, the second edition of the Fashion Transparency Index was launched, a review of 100 of the biggest global fashion brands and retailers ranked according to how much they disclose about their social and environmental policies, practices and impact. 66,000 people attended around 1000 Fashion Revolution events and there were 533 million impressions of social media posts using one of Fashion Revolution’s hashtags during April and over 2000 brands and producer groups responded, answering imadeyourclothes.
In its fifth year, Fashion Revolution Week took place from 23–29 April 2018 when over 1000 Fashion Revolution events were held around the world, including Fashion Open Studio and Fashion Question Time at the Houses of Parliament. In April, the third edition of the Fashion Transparency Index was launched, ranking 150 brands on how much they disclose about their policies, practices, procedures and social and environmental impact.