Meet fashion activist Carry Somers! (Part II)

FR_Facebook_Cover_2016_orange

(Fashion Revolution Week has finally arrived, and to celebrate it we have interviewed Carry Sommers, co-founder of the movement Fashion Revolution together with Orsola de Castro. The interview starts in the previous blog post. ) 

On 24 April we will be celebrating a new edition of the Fashion Revolution Day and, in order to achieve a higher level of transparency within the fashion industry, you are encouraging consumers all around the world to address the question of “who made my clothes?” to different fashion labels of their choice. Why this concreate question and no other?
We no longer know who makes our clothes and we don’t know the true cost of the things we buy. The fashion supply chain is fractured and the producers have become faceless. This is costing lives. We believe that rebuilding the broken links across the whole supply chain, from farmer to consumer, is the only way to transform the entire industry. Fashion Revolution brings everyone together to make that happen.

The Behind the Barcode Fashion Report published last year found that 48% of brands hadn’t traced the factories where their garments were made, 75% didn’t know where their fabrics came from and 91% didn’t know where the raw materials came from.

We want to see an increasing number of brands make their supply chains more transparent, because we can’t start to tackle exploitation until we can see it.  We want to see the faces and hear the stories of thousands of farmers, makers and producers.

How does the Fashion Revolution Campaign work?
This year, brands and retailers will be challenged to take responsibility for the individuals and communities on which their business depends.  We want people around the world to show their label and ask #whomademyclothes. We want every stakeholder in the fashion supply chain – retailers, brands, factories, private label manufacturers – to demonstrate transparency and show us the people who make our clothes, answering with the hashtag #imadeyourclothes

FRD_facebook_WMMC_red

But, do you really think that knowing under what conditions and by whom our clothes were made would lead to a relevant change in our consumer behaviour? After all, a lot of revealing information has already been published on the topic.
Change is possible. There is a huge body of evidence which shows that people can radically transform their behaviour or beliefs in the face of the right kind of impetus.  Most of the public is still not aware that human and environmental abuses are endemic across the fashion and textiles industry and that what they’re wearing could have been made in an exploitative way.

We have created a How To Be A Fashion Revolutionary booklet this year which is full of inspiration and ideas about how we can all use our voices and power to transform the fashion industry as we know it.   We believe fashion can become a force for good.

What other ways do we have to become fashion revolutionaries and acquire a more critical view on this problematic?
The Fashion Revolution thrives on curiosity. It encourages us to look at what’s right under our noses at the clothes we’re wearing. It encourages us not only to think about these questions, but to ask them.  Fashion Revolution’s mantra is Be Curious, Find Out and Do Something About It.  We don’t want to be fobbed off with a link to a brand’s CSR policy. We want real answers.

FRD_facebook_green_2

How could the environment benefit from a more human, transparent and sustainable fashion industry?
There is a vast array of terrible environmental problems caused through the wasteful and abusive way the fashion industry works, from water pollution through to issues of landfill. More info here.

Carry Somers
Carry Somers

 TEXT: Eva Blanco

GRAPHIC RESOURCES: Fashion Revolution