7 DAYS (FASHION REVOLUTION UAE)

For one day only, selfies are allowed. You can even dress up in your best clothes, and show off those fashion brands. We’ll forgive you, as long as the date is April 24 and you include the hashtag ‘#whomademyclothes’.

That simple yet direct question means you are getting involved in Fashion Revolution Day, a global movement to hold the industry accountable and create more transparency.

The event marks the day in 2013 when 1,133 people died and thousands more were injured due to the collapse of a building that housed garment factories in Bangladesh.

This year, 67 different countries are getting involved with a number of different events linked to the date. But regardless of where we live, we can all make a difference.

Around the world, individuals are being encouraged to post selfies on social media with their clothing label showing, tagging retailer and brand with the question ‘who made my clothes?’, before sharing their reply.

Ayesha Siddequa, founder and creative director of online ethical and sustainable marketplace ‘Future Fashion’, is one of the major driving forces behind the initiative in the UAE.

She believes the campaign is a fantastic chance to create a more ethical fashion industry. Ayesha told 7DAYS: “We as customers need to ask the questions and then the brand will begin to worry themselves and we want to make sure there is a cradle to cradle approach – everyone needs to take care of everyone else”.

“It’s the right thing to do. We have to make some noise and that is the way to bring about ethical practices”, she adds.

Fashion Revolution Day was first

celebrated last year to mark the anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Dhaka.

Carry Somers, a pioneer in Fair Trade, is the founder of the movement. She believes the industry will react to public opinion and action.

She said: “Ultimately brands and retailers will listen because they care what their customers think. I was told by an industry insider that for every person who took an inside-out selfie and contacted the brand last year, the brands took it as representing 10,000 other people who thought the same way, but couldn’t be bothered to do anything about it”.

“We have incredible power as consumers, if we choose to use it. By asking the brands and retailers where we like to shop or ‘Who Made My Clothes?’ we can put pressure on them to be more transparent about their supply chains.”

While the whole campaign is aimed squarely at fashion brands, Ayesha believes the campaign can ‘turn the wheel’ on industry and business in general – in this region and globally.

She says: “The people who started this whole revolution are fashion-related, but we are trying to tell everyone here that it is not just the fashion industry but everyone has to be more responsible”.

“Fashion can turn the wheel, we have people from different industries coming in to talk about how they are bringing ethics and stability into their businesses and into the supply chain – here in Dubai and internationally.”

chris.fraser@7days.ae