Today marks one of the darkest days in fashion history. A day thousands of people suffered at the hand of fast moving fashion, and all who consume it. In commemoration of the lives lost and in support of Fashion Revolution Day, we bring you this story from Wendy Johnson.


Who made your clothes?

It’s a simple question but one not many can readily answer. And that include many manufacturers.

Who made your clothes is what Fashion Revolution Day is all about.

24 April is a day destined to become a significant event in the global fashion calendar. It’s the day when the dark side of the fashion industry came tumbling forth like a massive storm cloud at Rana Plaza on the outskirts of Dhaka.

More than 1,130 innocent people lost their lives while making clothes on 24 April when the multi-storey garment factory complex collapsed into a mountain of rubble, and another 2,500 were injured. News headlines flashed around the world as people watched—in horror—as the disaster unfolded before their very eyes.

Fashion Revolution Day says ‘enough is enough’. It’s a call to action, started by ethical fashion designers in the United Kingdom, asking people to wear their clothes inside out and show their label,  for one day. The movement also begs us to be curious, find out more and do something, even if it’s something small.

Fashion is all about people. The hands that made the clothes you have on your back as you read this story.

Fashfest designer Hannah Parris, from local label Audrey Blue, has been to India and seen first-hand the side of the fashion industry many simply don’t want to talk about, and that’s the entire supply chain, from who grows cotton, who spins it, who designs garments, who makes them, who delivers them to a point of sale and who sells them (and at what profit margin).

Hannah is one of several Fashfest designers who are ethical in their approach to fashion, even though it means making less money. ‘Everyone in the supply chain needs to make something and that’s understood,’ says Hannah. ‘But when the profit is so great and the harm along the way is so great, well, it’s time to take a stand.’

Fashion Revolution asks you to engage in a process of discovery. To re-connect with your clothes.

To think about buying your fashion locally or from a company that has—like Hannah does—an ethical approach. And in Canberra that includes many local designers, like the talent behind labels SZN, Hanny-D Creations, Character, Sovata and Pure Pod. These designers all have their own style and approach but they believe. Believe in taking a stand.

So turn your clothes inside out. Take a picture. Post it on FB, Twitter or Instagram with #inside out.

And then remember what Vivienne Westwood so famously said: ‘Buy less, choose well, make it last.’


Support Fashion Revolution Day and take part in this interactive presentation from The Guardian 

shirt on your back

Did the Rana Plaza disaster change your shopping habits? If not, why not? Join the discussion