FASHION REVOLUTION WEEK
What is it and why should you take part?
Five years ago to this day, April 24, 2013, The Rana Plaza factory building collapsed in Bangladesh. 1,138 people lost their lives that day and another 2,500 were injured making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history. The building had cracks in it and yet the workers were forced to work in unsafe conditions putting their lives at risk on a daily basis. Without any union representation or support there would be no way for the workers to have any way to stand up for a safer work environment. This tragedy has shed light on the horrible realities of what major brands are willing to put people through to keep up with the demand to make our clothing around the world. There were five garment factories in Rana Plaza all manufacturing clothing for big global brands but ultimately 29 were identified within this collapse.
“The collapse of Rana Plaza highlighted that a more expensive top doesn’t necessarily equate to more pay or better working conditions, as all fashion brands, from Primark to luxury Bond Street stores, use the same factories. The only reason Benetton and Primark could be linked to Rana Plaza was because their labels were found among the rubble – along with the bodies of the victims.” (independentco.uk).
Out of this horrific event sparked a revolution around the world to start asking more accountability and transparency from brands by asking the question-“who made my clothes?” What possible life threatening conditions are we supporting with our purchases? Fashion Revolution is a week long movement of this question, creating accountability for brands to showcase who is making their clothing to meet the person behind the production.
Whether they admit it or not, many brands from around the world are actually contributing to a huge portion of human trafficking- forced slave labor. Much of why we felt compelled to start Citizen&Darling was because we knew there had to be a way to slow the demand down on slave labor and stop supporting companies that were selling cheap clothes at a rapid rate and contribute to the evils of child and forced labor.
The Fashion Revolution organization has given some incredible and approachable ways to get involved in this week long event with seven actions for the seven days, starting today- April 23 to join in on making a change. Day 1- Ask “who made my clothes?” They encourage the public to reach out to your favorite brands and find out what their practices exactly are, and are they even aware of how their clothes are made. With that being said we believe at Citizen&Darling transparency in our supply chain is foundational to our mission.
Our production is basically broken down into three steps. We choose our blanks from a couple amazing wholesale companies that uphold ethical standards and practices to make sure fair compensation and safety of workers are vital factors in their production.
Bella+Canvas- A Los Angeles based blank company, is one that we use for the majority of our blanks. They have posted on their website and youtube channel a first hand look at their sewing and cutting floor based right here at their headquarters in LA. https://www.bellacanvas.com/responsible-tees. We stand by their promise of no sweatshops, eco-friendly practices, and U.S.A manufacturing.
Another wonderful company we use is Alternative Apparel. Alternative apparel’s model is based upon upholding the standard of safe and fair workplace. From their website- “Working on a global scale, we respect and value the rights of workers in all countries
and believe in the right to fair and safe workplace conditions. Our factories shown here are in accordance with the Fair Labor Association (FLA) Workplace Code of Conduct. Additionally, many of the factories we work with are certified by Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), an independent, non-profit team of global social compliance
Alternative apparel also makes over 80% of their garments with sustainable materials and process that are less harmful to the environment. If you check out the Alternative Apparel facebook page- they are also taking part in fashion revolution week by hosting multiple events to help us take part in the movement which you can check out here- https://www.facebook.com/events/1625858404116167/
What is W.R.A.P certified? “Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, USA with offices in Hong Kong and Bangladesh and full-time staff in India and Southeast Asia, Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP) is an independent, objective, non-profit team of global social compliance experts dedicated to promoting safe, lawful, humane and ethical manufacturing around the world through certification and education.” They have set a standard of twelve principals to follow to receive their stamp of approval- which can be found here: http://www.wrapcompliance.org/en/12-principles
The next step in our production is design. The amazing co-founder of Citizen&Darling- Karina, and myself have designed all our pieces with a hope of a better world in mind. We choose graphics, words, scriptures, and quotes that we feel will inspired you and propel you to walk in the freedom of the love of Christ, and help us put an end to human trafficking and miss treatment of people in Los Angeles.
Once we have our blanks and designs we work with two local screen printers in the Los Angeles/ OC area. We love supporting small businesses and dreamers who offer amazing quality and create a lasting relationship of mutual support.
Our packaging and distribution is just as simple. Myself- Christina, packages all our orders, and maintains our inventory at my little humble abode. We cut all our tags, ship locally, and send our products directly from my home.
We strive to choose products that not only have amazing quality, but are not contributing to the constant trend of fashion coming in and out that puts peoples lives at risk. Our T’s and hats have a classic look you can wear all year around, that will last you years to come. We hope you take part in this years fashion revolution by choosing ethical brands, give your clothes a second chance by fixing instead of tossing, or buying second hand to prevent clothing from ending up in land fills. Check out @fash_rev and https://www.fashionrevolution.org to learn more about how to be involved in Fashion Revolution week! We also recommend watching "The True Cost" Documentary that goes into ore details on the connection between fast fashion and human trafficking.
Read your labels, ask brands for more transparency, and always stay curios to ask “who made my clothes?”
-Christina Vaichus, Owner/ Co-founder
Our favorite ethical brands:
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