Fashion Revolution Week 2023 Roundup
Fashion Revolution Week is our annual campaign bringing together the world’s largest fashion activism movement for seven days of action. It centres around the anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed around 1,138 people and injured many more on 24 April 2013.
This year, as we marked the tenth anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, we remembered the victims, survivors and families affected by this preventable tragedy and continue to demand that no one dies for our fashion. To define the next decade of change, we translated our 10-point Manifesto into action for a safe, just and transparent global fashion industry. Our campaign platformed the work of our diverse Global Network who provided local interpretations of their chosen Manifesto point(s). We believe that while fashion has a colossal negative impact, it also has the power and the potential to be a force for change. Together, we expanded the horizons of what fashion could – and should – be.
Here, catch up on some of the week’s highlights and find out how to stay involved with our work, all year round.
Remembering Rana Plaza
Fashion Revolution Week happens every year in the week coinciding with April 24th, the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster. On April 24th 2013, the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh collapsed in a preventable tragedy. More than 1,100 people died and another 2,500 were injured, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history. On April 24th, we paused all other campaigning to pay our respects to the victims, survivors and families affected by this tragedy, and came together as a global community to remember Rana Plaza.
As we reflect a decade on, we are inspired by and celebrate the progress made in the Bangladesh Ready-made Garment (RMG) sector by the Accord. The International Accord on Fire and Building Safety was the first legally-binding brand agreement on worker health and safety in the fashion industry and is the most important agreement to keep garment workers safe to date. This year, we pay tribute to the joint efforts of all Accord stakeholders who have significantly contributed to safer workplaces for over 2 million garment factory workers in Bangladesh, including the Bangladeshi trade unions representing garment workers, alongside Global Union Federations and labour rights groups. We welcome the introduction of the Pakistan Accord and would like to see the adoption and success of the International Accord replicated in all garment producing countries.
Manifesto for a Fashion Revolution
Our theme for Fashion Revolution Week 2023 was Manifesto for a Fashion Revolution. Back in 2018, we created a 10-point Manifesto that solidifies our vision to a global fashion industry that conserves and restores the environment and values people over growth and profit. This year we called on citizens, brands and makers alike to sign their name in support of turning these demands into a reality, boosting our signature count to 15,500 Fashion Revolutionaries and counting. We are immensely grateful to everyone who has and continues to sign; our power is in our number and each signature strengthens our collective call to revolutionise the fashion industry.
To campaign for systemic change in the fashion industry, we themed the week around complementary Manifesto points, providing ways to be curious, find out and do something daily around each of them. From supply chain transparency to living wages, textile waste to cultural appropriation, freedom of association to biodiversity, we shared global perspectives and solutions to fashion’s most pressing social and environmental problems.
Over the past ten years, the noise around sustainable fashion has only got louder. But meanwhile, real progress is too slow in the context of the climate crisis and rising social injustice. That’s why Fashion Revolution Week 2023 was an action-packed and future-focused campaign that amplified the actions and perspectives of Fashion Revolutionaries around the world.
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To capture these global perspectives, we launched the Fashion Revolution Map on Earth Day, which coincided with the start of Fashion Revolution Week. Developed by Talk Climate Change, the Map served as a global forum to reflect on the week’s themes and events, using our Manifesto as a talking point. Fashion Revolutionaries continued the discussion offline by inviting their family, friends, colleagues and classmates to imagine what a clean, safe, fair, transparent and accountable fashion industry would look like with us. These conversations were then recorded on the Map as a source of inspiration and knowledge exchange.
Anyone can be a Fashion Revolutionary; it starts with a simple dialogue about the changes you want to see in the fashion industry. Make your voice heard by contributing to our map today and help change the fashion industry through the power of conversation!
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Good Clothes, Fair Pay Highlights
Ten years on from Rana Plaza, poverty wages remain endemic to the global garment industry. Most of the people who make our clothes still earn poverty wages while fashion brands continue to turn huge profits. At Fashion Revolution, we believe there is no sustainable fashion without fair pay which is why we launched Good Clothes, Fair Pay as part of a wider coalition last July. The Good Clothes Fair Pay campaign demands living wage legislation at EU level for garment workers worldwide, building on Manifesto points 1 and 2.
During Fashion Revolution Week, our EU teams coordinated awareness events, campaigns and marches to mobilise signatures for this campaign. On April 25th, we headed to the European Parliament with Fashion Revolution Belgium to demand better legislation in the fashion industry. The day of action consisted of a panel discussion between Members of the European Parliament and impacted fashion stakeholders, and ended with a stunt outside the Parliament. Fashionably Late highlighted that the EU is running out of time to act on poverty wages in fashion. This stunt was replicated by our teams in Germany, France and the Netherlands throughout Fashion Revolution Week to demonstrate EU-wide solidarity with the people who make our clothes.
We have less than three months left to collect 1 million signatures from EU citizens to push for legislation that requires companies to conduct living wage due diligence in their supply chains, irrespective of where their clothes are made. If you are an EU citizen, sign your name here. If you’re unable to sign, please support the campaign by sharing it far and wide online.
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Fashion Revolution Open Studios Highlights
Fashion Revolution Open Studios is Fashion Revolution’s showcasing and mentoring initiative since 2017. Through exhibitions, presentations, talks, and workshops with emerging designers, established trailblazers and major players, we celebrate the people, products and processes behind our clothes.
This Fashion Revolution Week, Fashion Revolution Open Studios joined forces with Small but Perfect to spotlight the work of 28 European SMEs taking part in their circularity accelerator project. Forming part of this European events programme, Fashion Revolution Open Studios held a two-day event in partnership with The Sustainable Angle and xyz.exchange at The Lab E20. The event showcased seven innovative designers from the Small But Perfect cohort of sustainable SMEs and displayed how they are embedding circular solutions into their work, from crafting grape leather handbags to developing community approaches to making and working together. Alongside the exhibition, there were livestreamed webinars, workshops and panel discussions to explore the projects and hear about some of the the challenges facing small businesses and the industry at large in switching to circular business models.
Global Network Highlights
With 75+ teams from all around the world, Fashion Revolution Week 2023 championed the perspectives and contributions of our Global Network. Here are just a small selection of highlights from our country teams:
Fashion Revolution New Zealand unpacked each Manifesto point with industry trailblazers in an Instagram Live series.
Fashion Revolution Nigeria shared the stories and journeys of local slow fashion brands.
Fashion Revolution Argentina invited us to join their Wikipedia edit-a-thon.
Fashion Revolution India won the Elle Sustainability Award for Eco-Innovation in Fashion.
Fashion Revolution Uganda brought together the country’s top designers and brands at Kwetu Kwanza.
Fashion Revolution Hungary championed the revival of traditional folklore practices in clothing and fashion.
Fashion Revolution USA discussed the fashion industry’s impact on people and planet in a 2-part Zoom series.
Fashion Revolution Uruguay hosted Fashion Celebrates Life, a community picnic themed around Manifesto point 10.
You are Fashion Revolution
We are so grateful to everyone in our community for getting involved in Fashion Revolution Week on social media and beyond. Every single voice makes a difference in our fight for a fashion industry that conserves and restores the environment and values people over growth and profit.
While Fashion Revolution Week 2023 may be over, our community, our campaigning and our movement continues, 365 days a year. Please join us in fighting for systemic change by:
Using our online resources: Our website is a treasure trove of information, from how to guides and online courses to annual reporting on transparency on the fashion industry. Get started here.
From all of us in the Fashion Revolution team, we appreciate your support and we look forward to seeing you next year!