April 24, 2013 saw the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh. This deadly event has sadly become a symbol of the abuses of fast fashion.
Why? It revealed the deplorable working conditions of thes workers in these factories, which supply various international clothing brands such as Mango, Carrefour, Primark and others.
Although cracks in the building had already been reported by workers the day before and an evacuation requested, they were still forced to work. More than 1,130 people died when the building collapsed.
8 years on, what has really changed?
Since then, a number of associations have sought to bring justice to the victims of this tragedy by demanding compensation from the owners and operators of these workshops, among others.
But while fashion companies, even French ones, were supplied by factories like Rana Plaza, they were not legally liable for the actions of their subsidiaries or subcontractors.
6 months after the collapse, in November 2013, a law was proposed to the National Assembly relating to the "duty of vigilance of parent companies and ordering companies". It was finally 4 years later, on March 27, 2017, that the law was passed.
Fashion Week Revolution
In Bangladesh, workerss continue to demonstrate and strike for better wages and conditions, but struggle to get their demands heard.
It was after this tragedy that the "Fashion Revolution" collective was born by Carry Somers, a pioneer of ethical fashion in England. This movement advocates more socially and ecologically responsible fashion, and aims to inform, alert and encourage consumers to demand transparency and find out what's behind the labels on their clothes. Hence the slogan "Who made my clothes?".
This movement takes action by conducting research, proposing educational content, collaborating with countries and companies, mobilizing and taking action, demanding greater transparency and respect for workers' rights.s
Particularly during the week known as "Fashion Revolution Week" (around the date of April 24 (this year from April 19 to 25)), there will be lives, events, operations on social networks, educational courses on all subjects around the textile industry, human rights, eco-responsibility etc. It's a very important week, and even more so this year when we know the impact that the pandemic has had on workers in the textile industry.
And even if there's still a long way to go, we can each take action at our own level by choosing to boycott a particular brand if we feel it's not in line with the values we wish to defend and what's important to us. Because buying is voting!
At Elia, we're convinced that the economy should never jeopardize respect for human rights and workers' health. That's why we've chosen to produce as close to you as possible, in France, and to rely on certifications: discover all our menstrual panties !
On the same subject: Why do sanitary pads pollute?
Find out more:
The True Cost
Arte - The underbelly of low-cost fashion