FAQs About the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety

FAQs About the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety

FAQs About the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety

This page is copied and pasted from the Remake.org website to foster information about this topic.

What is the Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety (aka The Accord)?

The Accord (or Bangladesh Accord) is a groundbreaking agreement on workplace safety launched in the aftermath of the worst industrial accident in fashion history, the 2013 Rana Plaza disaster. The Accord has been hugely impactful, protecting the lives of 2.7 garment makers in 1,600 factories in Bangladesh through factory inspections, upgrades, and training, putting a stop to the cycle of fires, building collapses and other accidents that senselessly take garment makers’ lives. The Accord agreement was first signed in May of 2013 between unions and more than 200 global apparel brands, including H&M, Zara, American Eagle, PVH (parent company to Tommy Hilfiger), C&A, UNIQLO, Primark, and Adidas. The Accord first expired in 2018, but a successor Accord agreement was extended again until 2021. We are now demanding the Accord’s continuation and expansion!  

When and why was the Accord developed and what is the Rana Plaza disaster?


On 24 April 2013, the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh collapsed with thousands of people inside. At least 1,134 people died and thousands more were injured. It is the worst industrial disaster in the history of the fashion industry, and it came on the heels of several other deadly factory accidents, including the Tazreen and Ali Enterprises factory fires. 

Disasters in the fashion industry are entirely preventable. Garment makers were forced back to work at Rana Plaza even though they knew the building was cracking and structurally unsound after they were threatened by management with lost wages. Rana Plaza made it clear that the fashion industry needed a bold, systemic solution to unsafe working conditions in the form of a binding agreement. The Accord was signed within a month of this travesty. The result has been eight years of extraordinary progress, with the Worker Rights Consortium estimating that hundreds, quite possibly thousands, of lives have been saved. 

What is the goal of the current Accord campaign? What counts as success?


Remake and PayUp Fashion’s campaign goal is for these five brands (H&M, Zara, American Eagle, Tommy Hilfiger, and C&A) to publicly commit to sign on to extend and expand the Accord. We are also looking for brands to not only commit to a new Accord, but commit to the most important 3 components of a new agreement, namely:

  1. Individual brand accountability 
  2. An independent secretariat to oversee the Accord
  3. Expansion of the Accord model into other countries

To see an example of what a strong and sufficient commitment to the Accord looks like, see Asos’s statement. We are also working with other labor rights groups to confirm brands’ commitment to the Accord extension is sufficient.

Have any brands committed to extending and expanding the Accord?


Yes! As of June 12, 2021, five brands have committed to extend and expand the Accord:

  1. ASOS
  2. G-Star
  3. Tchibo
  4. KIK
  5. Zeeman 

These brands have also agreed to the three important components of a renewed Accord, namely brand accountability, independent oversight and expansion into other countries. 

You can read Asos’s public commitment here, which states that “Given the importance of this issue, ASOS would like to state our commitment to continuing the progress made over the last eight years through the Accord, and to ensuring worker safety.” 

What’s also noteworthy is that KIK, a German discount clothing retailer, was producing clothing in Rana Plaza, as well as Tazreen and Ali Enterprises factories, all deadly factory disasters that happened in 2012 and 2013 in Bangladesh and Pakistan that led to the Accord. After seeing the success of the Accord, Kik continues to strongly support this agreement, saying that they “support the expansion of the Accord model to other production countries as we have witnessed the Accord’s success and effectiveness.”

What other organizations support the Accord?

The Accord has broad international support. In addition to global labor rights organizations like the Clean Clothes Campaign, which has led the #ProtectProgress campaign for years, global unions industriALL and UNI Global Union support The Accord, as do local unions and factory-level worker groups in Bangladesh representing hundreds of thousands of workers, including Awaj Foundation and Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity. Even politicians support the Accord: Most recently Agnes Jongerius, a Member of European Parliament for the Netherlands (S&D), issued a strong statement in support of extending and expanding the Agreement. 

Why target H&M, Zara, American Eagle, Tommy Hilfiger, and C&A?

Quite simply these five brands–H&M, Zara, American Eagle Outfitters, Tommy Hilfiger, and C&A–are well-known global apparel companies that source a lot of apparel in Bangladesh and throughout Asia. They are all original signatories to the Accord and they all tout their social and environmental leadership. We expect them to fulfill those lofty goals by continuing to support The Accord. As experience shows, once these leading brands sign onto the Accord, the rest of the industry will follow.

H&M for example has made public statements on the Accord extension, but the companies appear to favor the replacement of the Accord with a voluntary initiative that has no binding element or accountability for brands. We can’t let this happen. Individual brand accountability is the defining feature of the Accord, and what made it successful, and what we are asking brands to commit to.

C&A has made a similar public statement saying they support the replacement of the Accord with a locally run body. What that means is that C&A wants the binding agreement to fade away and be replaced by a voluntary initiative. What’s more, global unions will withdraw from that locally run body in August (the Readymade Sustainability Council) if the RSC fails to agree to a new legally binding Accord agreement on safety, as promised.

So far, Tommy Hilfiger and American Eagle have remained mum on the issue of whether or not they will #ProtectProgress and sign onto the Accord. Zara recently said they support a strong new agreement with individual accountability for brands

 Should we be pressuring other companies to support the Accord? 

Yes! We encourage folks to pressure any and all of the 2018 Accord Extension Signatories to support the Accord. Here is the full list. Within the list, we will be tracking the support of 25 large brands in total on the PayUp Fashion website: 

Adidas, American Eagle Outfitters (Aerie) Benetton, Bestseller, C&A, Carrefour, Cotton On, Esprit, Fanatics, Fruit of the Loom, H&M, Hugo Boss, Inditex (Zara), Loblaw, LPP, Mango, Marks & Spencer, Mothercare, New Look, Next, Otto, Primark, Puma, PVH (Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein), River Island.

  1. Adidas 
  2. American Eagle Outfitters (Aerie) 
  3. Benetton
  4. Bestseller 
  5. C&A 
  6. Carrefour
  7. Cotton On
  8. Esprit
  9. Fanatics
  10.  Fruit of the Loom
  11.  H&M
  12.  Hugo Boss
  13.  Inditex (Zara)
  14.  Loblaw
  15.  LPP
  16.  Mango
  17.  Marks & Spencer
  18.  Mothercare
  19.  New Look
  20.  Next
  21.  Otto
  22.  Primark 
  23.  Puma
  24.  PVH (Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein)
  25.  River Island

How does the Accord keep garment makers safe?

The Accord is extremely effective at protecting workers’ lives and well-being for a few key reasons. Most importantly, the Accord is legally binding (meaning it has a contract behind it obligating its participants to fulfill their responsibilities) and it’s enforceable against individual brands, meaning brands can be held responsible if they don’t follow through. It has teeth and real consequences for brands that don’t comply with its conditions to upgrade factories and make them safe. Under the Accord contract, brands can even be sued in court by unions if they break their promises. In fact, several brands have been sued since the Accord’s inception to remedy life-threatening workplace hazards. Voluntary initiatives have in the past been unable to prevent mass casualties in apparel factories, and the Accord by contrast proved what’s possible with a contract between brands, unions, and suppliers. 

What has the Accord achieved?

It’s important to celebrate the dramatic progress made by the Accord. The initial inspection of Bangladesh’s factories back in 2013 found more than 87,000 safety issues, including more than 50 factories that were at immediate risk of collapsing. By 2018, the vast majority, 85% of all the original hazards identified had been eliminated. Today, more than 90% have been eliminated. It’s estimated that hundreds, if not thousands of lives, have been saved in Bangladesh by the Accord. In order to expand the Accord to other countries, the agreement needs to remain in place. 

  • The Accord covers 1,687 factories, providing building and fire safety inspections, remediation and training
  • More than 38,000 initial and follow-up inspections have been conducted for fire, electrical and structural safety
  • More than 90% of factories found to have safety problems have remediated those problems. That amounts to 1,260 factories. 

When will the Accord expire? How and why was it extended for three more months?


The original Accord was a five-year agreement that expired in 2018. At that time, a three-year extension was signed by more than 100 of the original signatories, and that agreement was set to expire on May 31, 2021. Three days before the expiration, the Accord signatories announced they would continue to negotiate a new agreement for three more months. Advocates and consumers have until August 31, 2021 to pressure brands to extend the Accord and negotiate a strong new agreement. 

According to the Worker Rights Consortium, a witness signatory to the Accord, the three-month extension has allowed more time for a strong successor agreement to be negotiated: “This will maintain the brands’ binding obligations for worker safety in Bangladesh through August 31. We are hopeful that a new agreement, preserving the crucial provisions of the Accord and expanding its reach, can be achieved during this time frame.” 

You can view the text of the three-month extension agreement here and the overall Accord agreement here.

Why should the Accord continue? Aren’t factories safe now?


If the Accord expires, brands will no longer be responsible for addressing safety hazards in factories where our clothes are made. We risk the occurrence of another Rana Plaza factory collapse, and perhaps most importantly we will miss the opportunity to expand the Accord to more garment makers, including those in India and Pakistan.

What’s more, the work is not done. A recent report by the Clean Clothes Campaign showed that significant safety issues, including blocked exits and missing sprinkler systems, remain in some factories in Bangladesh making clothes for major brands, including H&M, Bestseller, C&A, Joe Fresh, and PVH, among others. What’s more, the Accord is effective. That alone is a reason to keep its life-saving safety measures in place and protect progress. 

Undoing the Accord now will prevent its expansion into other garment-producing nations. Unsafe working conditions continue to kill garment workers in other countries, highlighting the need to not only extend but expand the Accord. Recent workplace tragedies in North Africa, including 28 workers killed by electrocution in an illegal garment factory in Morocco in February 2021, 20 workers killed in a fire at a garment factory in Egypt in March 2021, and 8 people killed in a collapse later that month in the same country show the urgent need for brands to commit to not only extend but expand the Accord to other nations.

Why are some brands resistant to continuing the Accord? 


Some but not all apparel brands do not want to be held legally accountable or financially responsible for keeping their garment makers safe. They hope to replace the Accord with a safety plan that is not legally enforceable on them. We don’t believe that they will keep their promises if they can’t be brought to court individually, as their factory audits, voluntary initiatives, and empty promises failed to prevent Rana Plaza before. 

Other brands make a similar argument that all of the Accord’s functions and operations have been effectively transferred to the RMG Sustainability Council (RSC), which was established in Bangladesh in 2020 to implement the Accord. But the RSC was never designed to replace the Accord agreement itself and if the Accord agreement expires on August 31, 2021, the RSC will just be another voluntary safety program, which we know doesn’t work to keep garment makers safe. 

“Brands are proposing a type of [Accord] agreement that we know from before 2012, one that is no longer legally binding upon individual brands and has no independent secretariat to oversee brand compliance. Under the guise of setting up a lean structure, brands are in fact returning to self-monitoring, in direct contradiction of what upcoming [mHRDD] legislation is demanding,” says Ineke Zeldenrust of Clean Clothes Campaign. 

I have more questions and I want to know more. Where can I get answers?

  • The Clean Clothes Campaign, a witness signatory to the Accord, has an extensive Q&A on the Accord available here
  • The Worker Rights Consortium, witness signatory on the Accord, has an extensive list of reports and memos about the Bangladesh Accord. Their latest update on the Accord is also very helpful reading.
  • The campaign website RanaPlazaNeverAgain.org also has Action Kits, FAQs and a petition that goes to a number of brands asking them to protect progress. 

Quotes & Testimonials About the Accord 

Please use these quotes on social media; just make sure to give proper credit to the speaker! You can cut them down to a shorter length if you need to, but please try not to change the intention of the speaker.

“I firmly believe that if the accord stays, then we will not have to die in fire accidents and building collapses.” – Ronjona Aktar Hashi, a Bangladeshi garment worker at the Alliance Knit Composite factory

“Eight years ago, the Accord was established for good reasons, to protect workers against dangerous working conditions and to put their safety first. Especially in these uncertain times during a pandemic, it’s extremely irresponsible for brands to backtrack on the one agreement that is holding brands accountable to their promise to keep workers safe in the workplace.” — Agnes Jongerius, a Member of European Parliament for the Netherlands (S&D)

“The Accord has played an outstanding role in preventing fatal accidents since its creation in 2013, and the work must continue. This three-month extension is a very important commitment. It demonstrates that we will not allow the safety and health of the Bangladeshi garment workers to be jeopardized while we continue negotiating a successor agreement with the brands, preserving the achievements in Bangladesh and also expanding them to other countries.” Valter Sanches, IndustriALL general secretary 

“The Accord saves lives. Why on Earth would we walk away from something that works so effectively to keep garment makers safe?” — Elizabeth L. Cline, journalist and author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion  

“The one thing I’ve experienced after the Accord started working here is that our workers have a voice now. If there’s a crack in the building they can say “no” to the factory managers, I will not come back until you fix it.” – Kalpona Akter, founder and executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity

“Because of the Accord, the work environment has improved very much. Before there would be sacks lying here and there in the aisles, there would be three machines instead of one. There was no way out. We would have to jump over one another to make our escape. Now the aisles are clear, the workspace is clean. Now we are working in a safer environment” – Parvin Akter, Assistant Secretary of Workers Union at Ananta Apparel

“Binding obligations for companies work much better than voluntary promises. As a result of that process [of the Accord], we now have vastly safer factories in Bangladesh.” – Scott Nova, Executive Director of the Worker Rights Consortium. 

“Bangladesh has experienced one of the most effective campaigns of the globalized era to improve labor and safety conditions.” — Lizzie Patton, The New York Times

“We can talk freely to Accord officials. When we file complaints to Accord officials, they respond very promptly. They don’t get easily convinced by the statements of the factory management. They regularly check compliance issues during factory inspections. We strongly believe that the Accord should stay and operate in Bangladesh.” — Mim Akter, garment worker and union leader, Dress, and Dismatic factory, Bangladesh 

“The Accord is a landmark agreement because it is a binding agreement. It’s not like the empty promises brands have been making to workers about their safety for years. That alone speaks volumes. ” – Kalpona Akter, founder and executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity

“We need brands to sign on the international Accord and continue to protect the progress that has been made in our country. ” – Kalpona Akter, founder and executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity

“Brands and retailers must make sure that an incident like Rana Plaza can not happen again, here in Bangladesh, or in any other production country. Our workers’ lives are important.” – Kalpona Akter, founder and executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity

“If we had had the Accord before, we could have saved all those lives that were lost in the Rana Plaza collapse.” – Kalpona Akter, founder and executive director of the Bangladesh Center for Workers Solidarity

Important Links:

Sign the petition at RanaPlazaNeverAgain: www.RanaPlazaNeverAgain.org

Videos to Share and Watch:

Please feel free to post these videos on social media with credit and attribution. 

  • Never Forget Rana Plaza. Credit: Remake
  • Rana Plaza & Tazreen Survivors Speak. Credit: Remake
  • Why the Accord is important. A worker explains. Credit: Clean Clothes Campaign

Additional accounts to Follow for Accord Updates:

INSTAGRAM
@CleanClothesCampaign

@remakeourworld

TWITTER

@CleanClothes

@BHRRC

@4WorkerRights

@kalponaakter

@awaj_fdn

This page is copied and pasted from the Remake.org website to foster information about this topic.

Everyone Knows About Fast Fashion?

Everyone Knows About Fast Fashion?

What is fast fashion? Zara, H&M, Forever 21, to name but a few since almost every brand went down the fast fashion slide in the hope of fueling a never ending thirst for more sales feeding the frenzy and addiction of everyone wanting more clothes for little cost. 

But buying cheaply comes at a high cost. 

I thought everyone knew. 

My generation always desired new clothes. We have memories of wanting a new pair of pants, 

(something very novel to us) an expensive dress, a new t-shirt and Levis jeans, but we either couldn’t afford new clothes all the time or couldn’t buy any Off the Rack like you can today. There were not always clothes in my size, not like today where everyone is accommodated from the very small to the very large. 

In my case, being so skinny and small, the only clothes remotely in my size were in the kids section size 14, super ugly big kids clothes for pre-teens, or they were too big for the pre-teen girl wanting more grown-up clothes, that I was.

Definitely just before the days of what we who worked in the industry called junior slut wear. It wasn’t that bad, but it did have sexier details such as sweetheart necklines and the like.

There were only boutiques I would read about in Seventeen magazine. 

geared towards the tiny preteen for my sister and I.

One store, in our area, was called Jabberwocky. Our mother brought us all the way there, two cities away, and it did not disappoint. 

All the clothes were so fashionable, just what we were looking for and they had small sizes. But they were expensive. I was allowed to buy one pair of pants that I wore practically my whole high school years. A pair of kelly green high waisted pants out of a brushed twill that never seemed to wear out. I only grew out of them eventually.

Friends I had who spent a fortune on clothes had mothers who took their daughters on clothes shopping sprees once or twice a month. They showed up at school with beautiful clean bright new outfits to go with their perfect hair, face, and smile.

The rest of us wore our outfits once or twice a week. That is how we dressed when clothes were expensive and we didn’t shop all the time. 

The Gap only had sweatpants for exorcising and sweatshirts or hoodies. Soon they started having a button-down shirt. The Banana Republic had army navy surplus clothes intermingled with other basics that cost more but had a few military-style pieces you could get for a reasonable price. 

As time went on, there were more options. We all noticed and started shopping more. 

There were strip mall stores opening up with long racks and racks of just tops or sweaters and always one or two we could afford and purchased. 

Boutiques in the malls opened up with names like The Limited (except it was anything but) and others all of a sudden, with young trendy cute clothes that were not going to break the bank. 

We all shopped more, and it felt like it, we only wanted to go shopping. We went to the mall frequently to buy clothes. 

It was an outing different than before when we went to the department stores. 

I thought at the time it was having our first real jobs with a need to look better or professional that we shopped. Sure that was part of it but there were so many more options and fashion seemed to embrace all the DIY details we had already made once by hand, but could now buy. Machine embroidered items, already frayed edges at the store, jeans with faded washes. 

Nordstroms became the expensive store while for a while they all were before the many boutiques popped up. Nordstrom has survived because in the maelstrom of fast fashion Nordstrom promoted service to the average shopper like no other department store. 

When did the Gap become a fashion maven? When did Penny’s become only a place to buy underwear, then after a revamp a place to buy inexpensive suits and dresses. At least they didn’t go by way of a Woolworth’s which touted inexpensive clothes but by no means could compete with trendy chain boutiques. 

All of a sudden you could find cute t-shirts at Forever 21 that were extra long and cheap, three for ten dollars. Before that I was sewing any extra fabric I could find to the bottom of my t-shirts to make them longer since low cut pants were in style. We really could not believe it. We couldn’t get enough. We wanted to go back for more. The fast-fashion addiction was beginning. 

How could we resist? We found cargo pants, the ones with tons of cute pockets a third of the price of real Gerards. We couldn’t help ourselves. Sweaters were affordable when we were making five to ten dollars an hour. 

I know we are still making ten an hour but it was a time of inflation, there was less income inequality. We felt a real option of moving up the pay scale and growth in our careers. 

Somewhere along the line, the fashion industry started making more than four or five seasons to feed the demand. There was Spring One and Resort, Fall 1and 2. 

We started manufacturing in China. 

Unending cheap labor made it possible to design anything we wanted without it costing a lot. It was designed by fax and spec at first. At some point, we started to send the actual clothing to copy. 

At first, we designed and made patterns, and traced them, and physically sent them over. 

In return we would get these squished clothes that had been sitting in ship containers for weeks, often smelling of chemicals. 

Sometimes the USA factories in Flint Mi, Pennsylvania, and the Carolinas would still make knits and mostly sweatshirts. There was money for artists to actually draw bunnies and sheep for sweatshirt designs. The competition for making a shirt ten cents cheaper would go to the lowest bidder for a store like Kmart. 

People were getting used to their clothes being made somewhere else besides Italy. When more and more madras plaids were pouring in from India and everyone had one because they were a cheap nice-looking plaid shirt made out of cotton gauze. 

Levi’s started being made in China too.

For the large majority of their jeans, Levi’s are not made in the USA. More than 99% of their jeans are made in countries like China, Japan, Italy, and others. Levi’s does have a single collection of “Made in the USA” 501 jeans, sourced from a small denim mill called White Oak in Greensboro, NC. Dec 23, 2019

All of a sudden we were emailing China daily, hourly, to get our goods, making only up to two corrections max in an afternoon. The turnaround time was getting shorter and shorter. When we used to plan a year in advance and finish the line to show three months in advance everything was moving faster now.  

People were buying whatever we put out there. The competition was fierce to keep making more to feed the fast fashion addiction. 

The Target, the H& M’s, The Forever 21’s were the competition with Gap and every big label jumping on board to produce the cheapest and the most sold in more and more stores across the states. 

Department stores started hurting not being able to sell designer clothing and quality pieces for twice as much. Plus their turnover was not as great. 

If you wanted something trendy in fashion the department stores lagged behind the cheap franchise stores. Manufacturers found the wait time for payment from traditional department stores unacceptable and had a hard time stocking some brands that did better in a boutique setting who paid when they made the order not six weeks later like the department stores. 

The competition for making something a dime cheaper for mass production to go into every store around the country and the world was formidable. The markup went from 50% in the old days to 30% and 20% to keep quantity and price down. 

H&M started hiring high fashion designers, then Target did the same and big designers started having a line of off-the-rack clothing for the masses.. It was hard to tell if the RL brand was the expensive one or the one made for cheap. So why bother buying the expensive one?  

The better-made clothiers were becoming more exclusive. All adding to the income inequality aspect of brands being for the very wealthy. At the same time, most brands were buying more, making six to ten seasons a year. Leaving the design in the dust and relying on surface treatments which are very labor-intensive but easy for China who had unlimited cheap labor.  

But now the fashion industry as a whole is having a reboot, some are closing down or slowing down with the help of the pandemic but the pandemic added a magnifying glass to the dilemma to stop the 2.5 trillion industry from destroying our planet. Embracing  Intersectional Connection​ to change the profit motive and discover what sustainable fashion is really all about.

Fashion and Climate Change

Fashion and Climate Change

Combatting “Greenwashing” with Transparency

Fashion and Climate change couldn’t be a more timely subject. Click on the letters below to see the presentation I gave for Sustainable Living. Many of the links in this piece are available on the slideshow.

-Slide show for Fashion and Climate Change by Mary Colmar-

The fashion industry was poised before the pandemic to make some changes. Away from producing so much fast fashion product while making less of a carbon footprint. 

But after the impact of the global pandemic happened on the economy, the role of the fashion industry in the destruction of the environment and the economy became a blaring reminder that the fragmented industry has to change as a whole. The industry has to work together, from manufacturing to changing the culture of fashion’s expectations in our society around the world to help in the prevention of global destruction as a key participant.

At the moment large corporations are working together by producing fewer goods, less fast fashion, and regular seasons and even down to two a year following the example of Gucci. 

Another key component is to manufacture closer to where the product is being sold. Trying to lessen the carbon footprint it intends to ship less and to produce more in the country where the goods sell. A goal easier said than done as the Western Hemisphere has not invested in the technology necessary to make a yarn out of hemp(being grown on old tobacco farms) for example and so much more necessary in the manufacturing of goods along with all sectors, excluding Europe who invested in the technology needed for manufacturing. 

[There are problems in the Americas in manufacturing, they do not have the technology that can spin a yarn literally from hemp again, which is very popular in the USA and being grown by ex tobacco farmers. The hemp is grown in the US, shipped to Asia as the sophisticated making of the yarn is made into yarn and/or fabric and possibly shipped again and sewn somewhere in the Americas?] 

Especially in the USA, it is a big problem because our minimal clothing manufacturing has not invested in middle management, education, or development and we do not pay our middle management workers enough. We are years behind in the technology needed to manufacture and PLM that Asia and Europe are equipped to do. 

The US are also the people most addicted to fast fashion and yes it is an addiction. These consumers need the education to care about sustainable fashion. Fashion that is less disposable and has more desirability, possibly buy something that has a lasting power of five years or more. Hopefully bringing back the ideal clothing concept becoming treasured again. At one time clothing was handed down through generations. It was made with quality and appreciated for craftsmanship. 

A big movement developing is wearing second hand, as a statement, for individuality, and an easy solution to utilize the plentiful pickings. 

Second-hand clothing has become popular, nothing to scoff at, but at a different level by Department Stores like Nordstrom and the inexpensive furniture store Ikea. 

A place to bring your clothes you no longer want or furniture that was crap in the first place. (on a side note Ikea is working on a way to make their cheap furniture recycled.)

The movement to improve manufacturing with less waste and better design is spreading across the globe with all products from food to fashion. There is an interconnectedness for all of us to participate. Not for profit but for humanity or quality of life for everyone. We are all the 1% not financially but in our individuality. We each can offer our knowledge and ingenuity to our clothing, our lifestyle in the way we eat and where we get our food to how we move around on the planet. 

Groups such as Fashion Makes Change (FMC) is the fashion industry’s new solution that delivers women’s empowerment and climate action in tandem. With a mission to build a community between brands, non-profits, consumers, and supporting industries to responsibly drive action on key social and environmental impacts of fashion, the organization acts as a transformational ecosystem. Fashion Makes Change’s powerful coalition supports the diverse women who work within the apparel supply chain, reimagining how collaboration affects change.

“The truth is that the old way of doing things is not solving the problems. Incremental change isn’t good enough. We are moving too slowly,” said Cara Smyth, Chair of Fashion Makes Change. “Education is the great equalizer. In particular, investing in women builds resilient communities. Catalytic ecosystems that foster profound collaboration are powering the next generation of sustainability and are the only sensible path forward. We have a finite number of days before irreversible global warming. Fashion – and the world – are racing against the clock.”

Fashion Makes Change, a project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, answers the call by the United Nations Secretary-General to advance progress on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and looks to all sectors of society in the next ten years to mobilize action locally and globally, to generate a movement to meet this decade of action. Fashion Makes Change strives to build communities of changemakers that will help advance progress on key development goals and ultimately efforts designed to create a more equitable and responsible apparel industry. Fashion Makes Change will initially look to targets aligned with SDG 3, Good health and well-being, SDG 4 Quality Education, SDG 5 on Gender Equality, and SDG 8 which addresses Decent Work and Economic Growth.

MAKING AN IMPACT

One of the key organizations that Fashion Makes Change will support is the [email protected] Collaborative, a joint effort of United Nations’ ILO-IFC Better Work, BSR’s HERproject, CARE International, and Gap Inc.’s P.A.C.E program, that works to leverage knowledge, skills, and networks to drive collective action for the benefit of women workers and gender equity in global supply chains.

THE INDUSTRY UNITES

Brands and retailers throughout the industry are mobilizing to educate women in the global supply chain at scale by 2030. This comes as the industry’s CEOs and their teams work collectively to demonstrate fashion as a powerful force for good in the world. Consumers increasingly want to drive positive impact and are motivated when they have a voice in using their purchasing power to support the actions brands are taking. Individual and collective efforts in the community are required to tackle the systemic challenges facing our society.

The first activation will launch on March 8th, International Women’s Day, with a program that engages consumers to round up or donate via a global network of retail and fashion brands. The proceeds will be dedicated to educating and empowering women in the supply chain via [email protected]

Funds collected will be deployed through Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, a nonprofit organization that helps donors create thoughtful, effective philanthropy around the world through research, advisory, management, and project incubation.

This unprecedented collaboration among brands, customers, and non-profits will amplify, scale, and accelerate a global shift towards meaningful change.

The program has support from Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Avery Dennison, PR Consulting, and the Accessories Council.

Furthermore, second hand, unique, want it to be the first option. Young people are removing some of the stigmas of used clothing as they are often, customized, embellished, and upcycled.

Depop has a customer base of a 23million and 93 percent are under 26. A company that is expanding access to used clothing. One of many. It is a bigger umbrella. Usually unique, no one else will usually have the same item.

Different Forums:

ImpactFashion.org

Sustainable Fashion Forum 

State of Fashion- BofF.com

EcoFashion.com online magazine

FashionMakesChange.org

More groups: 

FashionForGood.com

[email protected]

Another movement is to reuse clothing rather than see it go into the trash or shipped all over the world looking for a home as the rag quality that they are.

There is no silver bullet. As a manufacturer, someone who has had a clothing line for eight years. I found a gem in the clothing that was spilling out of our closets and sold by the pound at GoodWills.

With my background in production as a patternmaker and technical designer, I found many uses and opportunities for ways to scale up these clothes. Other companies that have scaled up doing similar work are:

Vetements

Atelier and Repair.

Gregory Lauren

SaladBowlDress

One resource for this article is from unitedfashion.com ‘Fashion Makes Change,’ Change Fashion? The new brand-led community promises solutions for the “equalizing” status of garment workers while tackling the climate crisis with collaboration. By Kaley Roshitsh on November 17, 2020

 

In the Future Call It Fashion or Clothing?

In the Future Call It Fashion or Clothing?

 

 

 

Intersectional Connection​ is what sustainable fashion is really all about. We consume with our money and we do not always check for the transparency of manufacturing and energy use in the corporations we are patronizing.

 

 

For every purchase, we make it is important to check the sustainability quotient of the company behind the garment. Good Trade has a nice list of reputable sustainable companies.

 

 

Is the fabric dead stock or innovative hemp or mushroom leather? Did you know leather is just plain bad? ​The rainforest is being mowed down not by soybeans but by leather. ​Forget about the dead cows it is bad for the people working in the tanneries that have a life expectancy of fifty years old. IE: Chemicals, river​ The faux leathers all have their own controversies but non as bad as real leather.

 

 

It is important that we demand transparency. What we are looking for?
Is the manufacturing local or overseas?
Are the wages a living wage?

 

 

Is the fabric organic cotton, recycled polyester, hemp, farmed silk, viscose, ag fibers trying to scale up.

 

 

Spending time a few weekends ago at the Impact Fashion Summit my initial takeaways are that maybe we shouldn’t call it fashion at all. Call it clothing. Slow fashion, sustainable fashion, be the change, start in your own small community.

 

 

The intricacies of fair-trade are beyond me.
Our trade agreements, like walls, keep foreign factories from having a better standard of living. Interesting and complex, we are always close to getting something humanitarian ratified.

 

 

The miracle fabrics of the future are truly plant-based grown in regions that can handle certain plants. 2.5 billion people now will remember when we had choices in our fabric but the next 2.5 billion will have to rely on scaled-up versions made from plants.

 

 

Child labor is alive and well. San Salvador company closing after employees worked there for 10 to 35 years. Offered some old machines but no severance pay.

 

 

Fast fashion came about by the fashion industry feeding us clothing as fast as humanly possible to the point we kept consuming it since it was so affordable that now the fashion industry knows it has created a monster.

 

 

We need to get back to four or five seasons a year. Enjoy a regionally made garment of quality. Not exactly Slow Fashion in the strictest terms but back to enjoying the work, the product, and the necessity again for something we wear for a while because we love it.

 

 

How do we want to scale up? Most likely with a plant-based fiber that grows in a permaculture environment. The Tropical Regeneration ag movement is doing amazing work.

 

 

Is clothing disposable? Not from anyone’s standpoint is it disposable but it has become just that creating the leading cause of Climate Change on the planet.

 

 

We live in a time where clothing is so available we tend to buy it and dispose of it.

 

 

How we dispose of it is pretty key. Sell, and remake seems to be our only choices. Donations to people make sense or manufacturers but places like Goodwill usually end up taking it too the landfill eventually.

 

 

My personal favorite sustainable clothing is made from other clothes or upcycling. But I get sick of hearing that term. At its simplest, It is mending what you have, patching a hole, washing a stain out, sewing on a button, hemming, adding elastic, or taking inside seams for a better fit.

 

 

Sometimes it is deconstructed. Opening up all the seams to reveal pieces that can be put back together in a new and interesting way. Usually, it is a drastic artful altercation. But it also creates fabric to make whatever you want, and details to add wherever you want.

 

 

It is the ultimate utilitarian military-style or highly functional original dresses, shirts, and suits, clothing that fits and works with style.