CHENNAI: On April 24, 2013, when 1,134 garment workers in Bangladesh died in a factory collapse, known as the Rana Plaza catastrophe the fourth largest industrial disaster in history, a massive ‘Fashion Revolution’ was born, paving the way to the query: ‘what actually happens behind the making of a cloth’.
A new demand by consumers for greater transparency and ask brands ‘Who made my clothes?’ was encouraged. Four years later, on the anniversary week of the horrific incident, over 90 countries involved in the movement come together, calling people across the globe to take part in a week-long campaign (until April 30) for a fairer, safer and cleaner fashion industry.
With Chennai’s fashion scene growing, and slowly becoming another hub for ‘fast fashion’, Rossbelle and Fashion Revolution India unveiled, the ‘Fashion revolution week’17’, in the city, to spread awareness among the consumers on — Money, Fashion, Power. With several ‘high-end’ brands entering the market, urban dwellers who once used to buy clothes only during major festivals and special occasions are now buying clothes at least 10 to 12 times a year, and fashion stores are rapidly expanding their footprints to capitalise on the growing demand.
As a result around 35,000 tons of used clothes go to landfills and 95% of these discarded clothes can be recycled or upcycled.
The first session of the campaign in the city was flagged off with a panel discussion at Backyard, Adyar. Joined by Jeyashree Ravi, Palam Silks, Tina Vincent, designer, Sindhu, RJ and Kajal, designer, the discussion focused on everything from People, profit to mindset of artisans, retailers and customers. “Talking from the viewpoint of a layman. I would want to know who made my clothes, the process behind it. And knowing these details, will make me wise and that’s the need of the hour,” opined Sindhu, who spoke on ‘fashion and comfort’.
As clothes go on a long journey before hitting the store shelves — from cotton farmers to weavers, dyers and sewers, Kajal and Tina emphasised on ‘being a conscious customer’. “I have been in the industry for over 20 years and the fashion industry is growing rapidly. Though we cannot kill the topic of profit, I think we can be more conscious while working towards it…in terms of the environment and sustainability,” shared Tina.
With a huge shift in the way people think about fashion — from being a commodity to becoming an asset, Kajal threw light on clothing accounting in the global production of CO2 emissions. “Initially, in the industry, there were just two trends Summer-Spring and Fall-Winter. Now there are about 52, which means that the trend is changing every week and there is a huge amount of waste getting accumulated. So, we need conscious customers who know when to shop, what to shop and when to stop,” she added. For more details, visit: fashionrevolution.org/country/india/