Fashion Revolution Week – Who made your clothes?

It’s six years since the devastating Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh which claimed the lives of 1138 garment workers; and injured 2500.

 

Rana Plaza Disaster, Bangladesh, conscious consumerism, whomadeyourclothes, social impact, slow fashion, ethical working, fair pay

The remains of the Rana Plaza Factory, Bangladesh 2013

 

These workers were killed when the dangerously disintegrating building, in which they were working, collapsed. Following the disaster, the building’s many ‘sweat shops’ were exposed. Low paid workers had been crammed in; working long hours to meet tight deadlines and satiate the West’s demand for ‘fast fashion.’ It was later revealed that they were supplying well-known high street brands in Britain.

Last week, to commemorate the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster, global organisation: fashionrevolution.org  hosted its annual  Fashion Revolution Week  which strives to: “unite the fashion industry and ignite a revolution to radically change the way our clothes are sourced, produced and purchased.”

 

Stacey Dooley - 'Fashion's dirty secrets'

Stacey Dooley’s BBC 3 Documentary – ‘Fashion’s Dirty Secrets’ 

 

The tide is turning. Finally, after years of rabid ‘fast fashion’ on the high street; consumer awareness and concern about the provenance and impact of our desire for the latest fashion trends; is growing.

This is partly due to celebrities like Stacey Dooley’s BBC 3 documentary: ‘Fashion’s Dirty Secrets’  Slowly, as we, the consumer increasingly demand to know who is making our clothes and in what working conditions they are operating; well-known high street brands are starting to take notice and to examine their supply chains.

 

At Zulucow, I’m proud to boast that all our bags, belts, cushions and accessories, are finely crafted by a team of craftswomen who work in good conditions and are paid above the average wage.

(Zulucow’s cowhide rugs are also ethically and sustainably sourced from the indigenous Nguni cattle. (Unlike most cowhides on the market, which are sourced from ranches cut out of the rainforest.)

artisan made; #who made your clothes, fashion revolution; I made your clothes, slow fashion, cowhide bags, cowhide belts, natural leather bags, sustainable fashion, ethical fashion, ethically made, women empowering women, socially conscious brand, above minimum wage, social impact, cowhide cushion

Nelly with a Zulucow cushion and bucket bag she’s made. #Imadeyourbag

 

artisan made; #who made your clothes, fashion revolution; I made your clothes, slow fashion, cowhide bags, cowhide belts, natural leather bags, sustainable fashion, ethical fashion, ethically made, women empowering women, socially conscious brand,

 Thandi crafting a Zulucow Bucket Bag    #Imadeyourbag

 

All Zulucow’s respected artisans, are employed in long-term, sustainable jobs with skills development and opportunities to support their families and plan for their future.

artisan made; #who made your clothes, fashion revolution; I made your clothes, slow fashion, cowhide bags, cowhide belts, natural leather bags, sustainable fashion, ethical fashion, ethically made, women empowering women, socially conscious brand, know the origin

Zulucow has a transparent supply-chain. I respect and value the talented seamstresses who make all Zulucow’s high quality, fabulous natural leather, cowhide pieces. #whomadeyourclothes

 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Cowhide Home interiors (@zulucowbylucy) on

Ma Philippine, a senior Zulucow seamstress talking to me last year as she speedily fashioned a new Zulucow make up bag sample for me in a matter of minutes!

artisan made; #who made your clothes, fashion revolution; I made your clothes, slow fashion, cowhide bags, cowhide belts, natural leather bags, sustainable fashion, ethical fashion, ethically made, women empowering women, socially conscious brand,

Ma Philiippine brings her grandson: Bhupee into the workshop as his mother is out working. (He’s playing with his new colouring book and crayons) 

 

Thanks to ethical campaigners like: Livia Firth who’s been campaigning for social change and environmental justice in the fashion world for years. (She launched ‘Eco Age’ and ‘The Green Carpet Challenge’) Lucy Siegle, the ethical campaigner and Guardian columnist (who also founded ‘The Ethical Awards’ and produced ‘True Cost’ documentary. ) the devastating social and environmental affects of the fashion industry have been exposed and are slowly being addressed.

 

Sustainability, environmental and social justice, Ethical campaigner, Livia Firth, Eco Age, The Green Carpet Challenge, Rana Plaza Disaster, Bangladesh, conscious consumerism, whomadeyourclothes, social impact, slow fashion, fair pay, fashion revolution week

 

So lets hope that with the help of more conscious consumers – yes us – and celebrities such as Dooley, Firth and Siegle, Emma Watson, Katherine Hamnett and Vivienne Westwood…we see more fair trade and ethical fashion on the high street; and that skilled producing our clothes are paid well, and shown the respect they deserve.

Hamba Kahle,

Lucy

artisan made; #who made your clothes, fashion revolution; I made your clothes, slow fashion, cowhide bags, cowhide belts, natural leather bags, sustainable fashion, ethical fashion, ethically made, women empowering women, socially conscious brand, above minimum wage, social impact

Some of Zulucow’s skilled artisans and me in the workshop in South Africa. 

 

2019-05-03T23:25:10+01:00