Interview with Revival Collective about Brighton Fashion Revolution Week

Fashion Revolution week is a global movement that happens across 90 different countries every year. They encourage people to consider how their clothes came to exist and whether or not that process was fair to the environment and to the people who made them. This year, ethical fashion community, Revival Collective have teamed up with Brighton Girl Magazine to bring that movement to Brighton with 8 diverse events happening across the last week of April. We interviewed Fashion Revolution about their upcoming campaign.

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Tell us about Brighton Fashion Revolution? Fashion Revolution Week is a global campaign, run by the amazing Fashion Revolution organisation every year on 24th-30th April. The campaign was set up in honour of the Rana Plaza factory collapse on 24th april 2013. 1,138 people were killed, and many more injured, due to the neglect of both the factory owners, and the companies that were outsourcing from it. Sadly, this is not an isolated case, and many awful disasters have occurred due to our societies addiction to fast, and cheap ‘throwaway fashion’. Revival Collective are passionate about raising awareness of the ethical and sustainable issues within the fashion industry, and we wanted to bring this campaign to Brighton in order to show solidarity, and help spread the word. Brighton is already such an amazingly conscious minded city, with an amazing attitude to fashion and style!

So many Brightonians love clothes, but still remain unaware of the ‘dark truths’ behind where many of their favourite brands source from. Also, those that are aware often feel helpless because they don’t know how to shop differently, and don’t know what they can do to help! Through Brighton Fashion Revolution Week, we want to join this amazing platform, and encourage local people to unit and speak up against the current industry standards. We also want to show everyone that there are some amazing conscience brands out there, proving that the words ethical and fashion can be synonymous!

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What is the aim? Fashion Revolution encourages everyone to ask the question ‘#whomademyclothes’ in order to promote greater transparency within the fashion industry. They encourage people to take photos during this week with a piece of clothing on inside out, show the label, and ask the brand ‘#whomademyclothes?. Many people are still not aware of what extent the fashion industry is damaging the planet and the people who live in it, as many brands keep this very under wraps. As a society we have become addicted to consuming ‘throwaway fashion’. Consumers have disconnected the clothing from it’s production and as a result, clothing has lost it’s value There is no excuse as to why these huge corporations are allowing the production of their clothing to happen in unethical working environments and not allowing the garment workers basic human rights. These huge corporations aren’t going to change unless we as the consumers force it on them! We need to name and shame, and make sure that all brands are taking responsibility for their supply chains and they are guaranteeing that everyone involved in the supply chain is treated fairly!

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What are the different types of events running in the week? So we are running 8 really exciting and interactive events over the course of the week! The week will kick off with a film screening of ‘The Machinists’, an expose of the dark truth behind the fashion industry from the perspective of 3 garment workers, working the factories in Dhaka. One event highlight is ‘The Fashion Revolution Exhibition’ In honour of Fashion Revolution week, we are asking the question ‘who makes your clothes?’. So many people are shocked and fed up with the current situation, but one of the biggest hurdles for the majority is that they just ‘don’t know where to find alternatives’. Revival Collective have come to your rescue and have curated an exhibition of amazing, affordable, and consciously made fashion… from brands that offer 100% transparency. This exhibition offers a juxtaposition to the opacity of the current fashion industry, and shows once and for all that conscious and fashion are two words that can be synonymous!

Some of the brands featured include Brighton Lace, StephieAnn Design, Zola Amour, Ugly Girls Club, What Daisy Did and Mayamiko. Alongside ethical and sustainable clothing, shoes, and accessories we will also be showcasing local artists’ responses to awful tragedies such as the Rana Plaza collapse. This will include an installation of widely discussed ‘#whomademyclothes?’ embriodered quilt by Shelley Morrow. Other events include ‘Why we need a fashion revolution’, a night of talks and a Q&A with Siobhan Wilson, owner of the The FAIR Shop, Christine Gent, CEO of People Tree Foundation and former Executive Director of World Fair Trade Organization Asia (WFTO Asia), and Viv Mugunga, co-founder and Managing Director of Ryico (Rwandan Youth Information Community Organisation). There will also be the panel discussion: ‘How to Dress Sustainably’, hosted by Brighton Girl where an inspiring panel, consisting of members of the Brighton community, who have made the decision to be more conscious their own lives, will be offering up tips on how all of us can be more ethical and sustainable in our attitude towards clothing, and the way we dress.

The week will close with an Anti-Sweatshop Swap Shop, encouraging people to bring their unwanted clothes and swap them for new ones. No clothing deserves to go unworn, and this event aims to rid the fast-fashion mentality that advocates the constant compulsion to buy new, and therefore encourage circular fashion.

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How much of an impact has fashion revolution already made? 2016 was a big year for fashion revolution! They had over 70,000 people involved in the #whomademyclothes campaign. They also had some big celebrities and influencers involved. This meant that they were able to spread their message far and wide, and unite a powerful, passionate group of people to make changes to supply chain transparency, and think differently about their clothes. As a result over 300 mainstream brands listened and answered the question #whomademyclothes!

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