Welcome to Fashion Revolution week! If you haven't checked my last blog post outlining what's happening this week and the campaigns I'm involved in then you should check that out. Every day this week I will be posting a video, blog post and on social media on a different aspect of sustainable fashion for fashion revolution week! Plus lots of other bloggers and influencers are getting involved, and there will be a way for you to get involved every day too.

And today we're starting off with: why? Why Does fashion revolution week exist? And why do we need a fashion revolution?

Fashion revolution was started in 2013 after the Rana plaza incident on 23rd april. This was a factory collapse that killed over 1,100 garment workers and injured over 2,250 others making clothes 29 brands inlacing the likes of H&M, Primark, Walmart, and many other brands. Not only was it tragic that people died, but the workers there knew it was an unsafe place to work and nothing was done about it; these deaths were preventable. It led to countless protests and riots from garment workers across Dhaka demanding better conditions, better pay, and compensation for victims of the collapse.

Despite worldwide criticism and calls for companies to audit their supply chains and end modern day slavery, seven years on, factory incidents like this are a regular occurrence. The people that make fast fashion and keep the fast fashion machine going are routinely exploited, abused, underpaid and overworked. These brands are often relying on modern day slavery to sell you clothes, both at home and abroad. You can read reports from garment workers here.

The majority of the workers in these factories are young women of colour, with not much choice of a job other than in these factories. They're working here to help feed their families, to help siblings get an education. The people making feminist t-shirts for high street brands are the opposite of empowered by them. And your high street pride t-shirt may well have been made in a country where it's illegal to be gay.

The only way fast fashion especially can be so cheap, whilst making the CEO's of these companies billionaires, is because somewhere in the world the people making the clothes are being exploited. This is not a blip in the system, it's not an error in the workings of fast fashion, this is how it was designed and the only way it can function like it does. It's not just fast fashion either.

Even during a global pandemic, brands like ASOS would rather put on flash sales to keep their clothes selling online than to shut in order keep their workers safe. Asos factory workers here in the UK walked out a few weeks ago because their working conditions were not safe. Countless brands have laid off staff all over the world without pay despite the fact that they're run by billionaires who could pay out of their own pockets not see a dent. Bangladesh alone is estimated to have lost $1.5 billion in cancelled contracts since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic with other companies refusing to pay their already ordered contracts.

But it's not just people it affects. Fashion also has an extremely detrimental effect on the environment. From the way it's made, to where it ends up after we've finished with it. Fashion is bad news for the planet. 10% of global greenhouse emissions come from the fashion industry, toxic chemicals used in  the growing and dyeing process pose a risk both to the natural environment and the people using them, and of the 40% of clothes bought that are retuned to stores, many are put straight into landfill rather than being sold. In 2016 alone Uk households send 200,000 tonnes of textiles into landfill with supply chain waste adding another 800,000 tonnes.

All fashion is getting faster, but fast fashion especially cannot run sustainably, no matter how much brands try to greenwash in order for you to believe they can. Fast fashion is getting faster, in 2000 brands released 2 collections a year, in 2011 this raised to 5 and now the fast fashion giants are releasing new collections up to weekly. In one week Boohoo can put up 772 new items to its online store. This level of consumption is not sustainable and so something has to change.

So what can you do about it? Well that's what the rest of this week aims to help you with. We as consumers have a lot of power to change the industry. We can vote with our wallets and boycott companies doing badly, we can demand more transparency and action from brands, we can change our habits, learn to love our clothes longer and buy less. We have the power to change the industry for the better along with garment workers, farmers, and more who are out risking it all demanding more rights and better treatment for themselves.

Factory incidents, exploitation and slave labour are still big problems in the fashion industry but they are happening less, because people are demanding change. Millions of people have come out to ask brands who is making their clothes and many are becoming more transparent, but we have to keep pushing!

You can take this week to learn, create, inspire, grow! And ultimately make a change for the better. Follow the hashtags on instagram, check out the Ethical Brands for Fashion Revolution Week Conference, and read posts from all the wonderful bloggers sharing content for this week. Even share some of the things you've learnt or know yourself!

Want to get involved? Well post on social media about why we need a fashion revolution, or demanding companies to pay up and use #FashionRevolution, also tag me @muccycloud so I can share your posts and see what you're doing too! And I'll see you tomorrow.

Fun fact: I'm wearing the exact same outfit in the photo for this post as I did for my 2017 picture for fashion revolution week because why not.

More from Fashion Revolution Week:
Monday: Why Do we Need a Fashion Revolution?
Tuesday: Who Made my Clothes?
Wednesday: The Ultimate Guide to Fixing Up Your Clothes
Thursday: Loved Clothes Last: A Clothing Love Story
Friday: How to Be a Climate Activist
Saturday: "What's in my Clothes?"
Sunday: What do we want from the future of fashion?