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Why we need a Fashion Revolution

Perché serve una Fashion Revolution

Fashion Revolution is an activist movement related to textile and garment production, that since 2013 has been mobilising citizens, industry and policy makers, through research, education and workers rights defense, and it is trying to trigger a structural and systemic change, with the aim to conserve, restore and bring to the forefront human and environmental values, as opposed to mere growth and profit.

In 2022 Fashion Revolution will take place during the week of april 18th to 24th.

Why we need a Fashion Revolution

Since 2005, with the free movement of goods and capital combined with space and time reduction, summarised with the name globalisation, delocalisation of whole production sectors has been allowed towards emerging and developing countries. On one hand, new workers exploitation without protection, on the other a difficult global competition faced by companies.

The new geography has redesigned production networks in a very complex way, involving large distributors, brands, intermediary agents, buyers, suppliers and subcontractors. High added value functions are assigned to large international groups, while labor is outsourced to suppliers and subcontractors that have at their disposal whole armies of low-cost flexible workers, with fiscal incentives tied to global policies.

Export Processing Zones

Talking about EPZ (Export Processing Zones), we mean those territories intended for production to be exported, where the provision of infrastructural fiscal incentives facilities attracts foreign investments.

In these areas work conditions are often extreme and in practice it is forbidden to form unions. This is clearly identifiable as social, environmental and tax dumping and it allows companies competitive advantages by the exploitation of conditions favourable to them. Workers employed in global supply networks receive between 0,6 and 3% of the final product price, while large distributors and brands retain by themselves the 80%.

Social impacts: loss of culture, know-how, technical and artistic skills

Mass production erodes away the artistic heritage of many worldwide artisan realities. If not supported, we are likely to lose unique and ancient knowledges, handed down through generations.

Millions of people are depending on artisan goods trade, and in the current situation it is difficult for them to access the markets, as intermediaries use their intellectual property and take advantage of their modest income.

Transparency is traceability

According to Fashion Revolution, transparency is the public release of credible, complete and comparable data by companies regarding their own supply chains and their own business practice, as to evaluate their impacts on workers, communities and environment.

Until relatively recently, major brands and retailers dealing with shoes and garment production and distribution, considered their own suppliers network as a secret information, in order to mantain a competitive market edge.

On the contrary, to provide these informations it could be a considerable advantage for them, since consumers are expecting today more transparency about where, how and by which conditions products are made.

An increasing number of young people - who are more likely to search informations on the internet - recognise the possibilities given by the use of blockchain and traceability as potential of change, and is part of a more conscious consumer segment, not confusing supply chain transparency with greenwash phenomenon.

Supply chain traceability is the possibility to reconstruct all production steps, from source to final product, and the product informative process regarding the whole supply chain.

It is also possible to reconstruct the inverse process.

Open Apparel Registry, brings together lists of suppliers in a central, neutral and open database map.

Perchè serve una Fashion Revolution

Fashion Revolution, concrete actions

  • Use of hashtags, during the month of april every year, as to involve communities and stakeholders globally, with the aim to create a change through awareness and information.
  • Partnership with schools and universities as to involve students.
  • Annually creates a report called Fashion Transparency Index, in addition to a variety of freely downloadable papers.
  • Collaborations with cultural institutions.
  • Promoting a change at company level, by encouraging informations public disclosure, while inviting consumers to ask questions.

Insights

Fashion Revolution 2022, 18-24 april

Open Apparel Registry

(Highlight image by Michelle_Raponi from Pixabay)

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