People living in Western countries, including myself, take for granted everything we have; a house to roof our life and dreams, a full meal on our table, a salary and a safe working environment. How many of us however, wonder if this is the case everywhere around the world? Do we ever take a moment to stop and think if the people who manufactured the piece of clothing we just purchased were paid a fair salary compared to the price we paid or whether their working place meets any of the standards we enjoy?
Truth is we all hear “stories” about multinational companies exploiting people living in the Third World (never understood how there can be such a term in what we call a civilized world) but after considering it for a while we go on and buy the dress that is winking at us through the store window. And then the 24th of April 2013 came and we all stood in shock when we heard how 1,133 people, including many women and their children, died while working in garment factories in the 8-story commercial building Rana Plaza that collapsed in Bangladesh.
We felt sad and infuriated about how clothing manufacturers are exploiting those people, how the managers of those companies threatened the workers with withholding a month’s pay (€39.24) if they followed the authorities’ warnings for cracks on the building and refused to go to work. And they did go to work on 24th April 2013 because €39.24 (yeap, the exact amount you paid just a moment ago for your t-shirt) was a lot for them. No matter how enraged we feel about tragedies of this kind we are human beings and forgetting is in our nature. We tend to block away sad happenings and get them to sleep in our subconscious.
It seems however, that this is not going to be the case anymore! The Fashion Revolution Day event which was held internationally last Thursday –a year after the tragedy- is working on the right path; to turn fashion into a cause for good, to help us not to forget and make us think before we buy our next piece of garment because as stated on their official site “Enough is enough!”
We were more than happy to be attending and watching the crowd flocking in at Nixon bar downtown Athens to help start the beginning of an industry-wide transformation towards a more sustainable future. Upcoming and established Greek fashion designers exhibited their works pointing out the need for transparency in the supply chain and the people behind the tags and asking the attendants who were wearing their clothes inside out the simplest of all questions “Who made your clothes?”
We hope Fashion Revolution Day will be held every year and there will come one day when we will all be so awakened that it’s gonna be celebrated every day everywhere around the world! Congratulations to the team organizing the event here in Greece and making us part of the change!
To find out more about Fashion Revolution Day and get involved please visit the official site here.