Fashion Revolution Week has just recently past, but that doesn’t mean we should give up on asking brands #WhoMadeMyClothes until next year rolls around. In fact, the whole point of this initiative is to encourage consumers to be thinking about these issues all of the time, which is why promoting brand transparency on a regular basis is essential. So what can you personally do about fast fashion’s current lack of transparency then? Well, aside from putting your money where your mouth is in terms of purchasing decisions, you can also sign this petition to support Follow the Thread — a campaign geared towards increasing the transparency of brands like Forever 21 and Primark.
Launched by a coalition of human rights advocates ahead of last month’s Rana Plaza anniversary, this campaign calls for greater transparency in the global apparel industry. The accompanying report, Follow the Thread: the Need for Supply Chain Transparency in the Garment and Footwear Industry is based on letters sent to 72 brands. These letters asked them to publish the names, addresses, and other important information about factories manufacturing their products. Of those 72 brands, only 17 agreed to align with the pledge — showing that we still have a long way to go as far as corporate accountability is concerned.
But by getting behind initiatives such as #WhoMadeMyClothes and Follow the Thread, you can help make a difference to the face of fashion moving forward. The Follow the Thread report has now become the base document for a new drive by the global trade unions and labor rights advocacy organisations to demand greater transparency from apparel brands. And by signing the petition or — better still — supporting brands that are committed to transparency, you can be part of a bigger movement. A fashion revolution, if you will. Gone are the days where brands could claim that to publish their supplier lists would somehow harm their competitiveness. And, in the wake of the 1,134 garment workers killed as a result of the Rana Plaza collapse, transparency is now more essential than ever.