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We were pleasantly surprised when we found an article published on Vogue’s website last month on April 1, 2014 titled “How The World Has Changed Since Rana Plaza”. This was no April Fool’s joke, as the world’s foremost authority on fine fashion, did a lengthy piece on ethical fashion. With testimonials and commentary from celebrities such as Kate Blanchett and Emma Watson, the piece is powerful.
The piece covers the aftermath of the Rana Plaza collapse, the impact of production of fast fashion clothing, progress made in Bangladesh and what the future should look like. The progress discussed in the piece includes an amended law in Bangladesh which allows garment workers to form trade unions without prior permission from factory owners and and increase in the minimum wage by 77 per cent. Workers continue to press for a further increase and better working conditions.
One interesting mention in the article was the declaration that April 24th is an annual Fashion Revolution Day (FRD). On this day, people all over the world were encouraged to wear their clothes inside-out. The fashion activist organizers of this day hoping that FRD will be a platform for best practice – for brands to show off what they are doing to improve things.
My favourite line lies at the end of the article: “Ultimately this is about protecting a creative, inspirational, positive industry and its vast potential to provide for millions of people all over the world. The issue is not whether or not we can continue to enjoy it; simply that if we want fashion that is beautiful, let it also be kind.”
It is exciting to see the need for ethical fashion get recognized in such a big way in an international fashion publication. It is media coverage like this (however biased and superficial it might be) that will allow the change in consumer’s mindsets around how they should spend their money. Take a look at the full article and share your thoughts with us via a comment or on twitter (@enablechange).