Fashion Revolution is a movement that was started in 2013 after the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh. More than 1,100 garment workers lost their lives and amidst the rubble of this tragedy were clothing labels that most of us would recognize. Every year on April 24th (the anniversary of the factory collapse), Fashion Revolution day is marked around the world by consumers asking brands ‘Who Made My Clothes?’.
Fashion Revolution is an important movement for TAMGA, highlighting the need for transparency that is at the core of our company’s mission. Our founders started the brand in Dhaka as their own response to the Rana Plaza collapse, and this year to mark the day, we’re sharing our top 6 reasons for a #FashionRevolution.
The fashion industry never has, and never will be worth risking a life for. Unfortunately forced labour, poor health and safety and worker abuses are still too common in garment manufacturing. Cheap fashion and constantly changing trends lead many large brands to ‘look the other way’ when it comes to their manufacturing. The consumer keeps these brands alive so it’s up to us to show that cheap clothes shouldn’t come at the expense of the makers. There’s never been a better time to ask #WhoMadeMyClothes?.
Climate change is quite possibly the biggest challenge that our generation will face, and the fashion industry is a big contributor. In terms of carbon emissions, water pollution, and pesticide usage, the production of fast fashion ranks among the world’s biggest offenders. Even in today’s globalized world, it’s easier than ever to track the impact of a piece of clothing in terms of water usage, toxicity, and C02 emissions. We know this because we do it – you’ll see the environmental impact of every garment on our product pages (like our Nina kimono). Now is the time to push brands to own their impact, and support the ones that already do.
Jobs to End Poverty
While the fashion industry is known for unreliable and dangerous working conditions, the industry is actually insanely valuable as a tool for development goals like poverty reduction, gender equality, education, and nutrition. Over 80% of garment workers worldwide are women, and the jobs that fashion creates in poor countries have been proven to help families climb their way out of multi-generational poverty. But there’s one catch: these jobs have to be safe and pay a living wage for these positive impacts to take hold. Worldwide, 60 to 75 million people are employed in the garment industry, and the majority of them are in the developing world. Supporting ethical fashion means ensuring that these jobs are safe and pay enough for a family to break the cycle of poverty.
It’s estimated that 5.25 trillion tons of plastic particles are in our oceans. These microscopic plastic microfibers are moving from our polyester, nylon and acrylic clothing, through our washing machines, directly into the big blue ocean at a rapid rate.
Unfortunately, fashion’s dysfunctional relationship with oceans doesn’t stop at plastic. The World Bank estimates that almost 20% of global industrial water pollution comes from the treatment and dyeing of textiles. Millions of gallons of wastewater discharged by textile mills each year contain chemicals such as formaldehyde (HCHO), chlorine and heavy metals such as lead and mercury.
There’s good news though – many fashion brands are now using low-impact dyes that use up to 70% less water and contain no known harmful toxins to people or the environment. At TAMGA we use exclusively low-impact dyes to create our vibrant prints, see more here.
Over 150 million trees are logged every year and turned into a fabric called either ‘rayon’ or ‘viscose’. An estimated 30% of these trees come from old growth forests that are critical hot spots of biodiversity and one of our planet’s most important defenses against climate change. As you’re reading this – ask yourself: if your favourite dress contributed to the destruction of one of our planet’s most valuable resources, would you still buy it?
Fortunately, we can take actions as consumers and businesses to protect these forests by supporting and valuing products that don’t require the destruction of endangered forests. At TAMGA we use high-quality fabrics from sustainable forests that are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Want to learn more? Our partners at CanopyStyle are doing incredible work to keep endangered forests out of fashion.
Gone are the days where sustainable fashion meant compromising on style! You can be part of a solution by supporting brands that are fully transparent with the ‘who’ and the ‘where’ of how their clothes are made. At TAMGA we’re on a mission to prove how amazing sustainable fashion can be – shop our full range here.