26 April 2014 – save the date, the time has come for a fashion revolution! With the running hashtag #insideout, Fashion Revolution Day will see fashionistas of all ages across the globe donning their clothes on the reverse to expose the oft-unseen and un-noticed clothing labels.
Why the peculiarity? What exactly about fashion is being revolutionised? Why should people care and, forgive us for saying, look slightly awkward wearing clothes on the #insideout for the day?
You’re thinking it, we’re thinking it. So we took it upon us to inquire from behind the scenes about the slated day for a fashion revolution – the hows, whats and whys – with the Singapore team organising it. We were in for a socially conscious epiphany of a day that could pave the way for ethical and sustainable fashion, read on!
Fashion Revolution Day – What does this global event seek to revolutionise about fashion?
Events such as the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh last year bring with them the realization that the majority of us do not know how or where our clothes have been produced, nor are aware of the devastating impacts the fashion industry can have. Fashion Revolution Day is an opportunity to celebrate fashion as a positive influence, raise awareness of the fashion industry’s most pressing issues, show that change is possible and celebrate those who are on a journey to create a more ethical and sustainable future for fashion.
The global theme for this year’s Fashion Revolution Day is “Who Made Your Clothes?” Could you tell us more about what it means and why it’s been used to kickstart the inaugural movement?
The inaugural movement is about increasing the public’sawareness and their understanding of the problems in the fashion industry. But to do so at the individual level, the theme ‘Who Made Your Clothes?’ was chosen. It encourages people to turn their clothes inside out, to be curious in order to question and raise awareness about who made their clothes, where and how.
What sparked action in you to launch Fashion Revolution Day in Singapore?
The team comprises members who are very passionate about the environment, particularly in ethical and sustainable fashion. We feel strongly that Singapore needs a fashion industry that values people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure. As ethical and sustainable fashion is still a niche area in Singapore, one of the challenges is being able to generate enough interest towards it. Ultimately we want to create a shift in Singaporean consumer behaviour and attitudes towards ethical and sustainable fashion.
How have you planned your event to remain consistent with the global theme?
The Fashion Revolution Day HQ provided guidelines for us to follow so that our event remains consistent with the global theme.
We notice you have four others on the team with you. It’s really heartwarming to see people stepping up and putting in so much time and effort in support of the cause. Was it a challenge putting a team together? Is there a key element to a dream organising team?
No, it wasn’t a challenge getting a team together as all of us shared the same passion, which is essential to any team. The challenge was finding the time to meet up to discuss! However, we overcame that with technology.
Shifting gears towards Singapore’s textile and apparel industry, what’s the state of it today? In your opinion, what is one key area we could improve on?
We are seeing attitudes slowly changing with some high street brands taking a step towards embracing sustainability. For example Levi’s recently encouraged customers to bring in their old pair of jeans in exchange for a $50 voucher off a new pair of jeans. But there is still a long way to go. One key area to improve on is to get industry to be more transparent in their supply chains, and to make ethical sourcing paramount to their businesses.
Beyond Fashion Revolution Day, how can Singaporeans continue to engage with fashion in a positive way? Perhaps kick us off with three things we can start with.
a) Buy ethical – purchase clothes from brands that are transparent with their production lines and disclose where their garments are made.
b) Hold your own clothes swaps – get together with your friends and swap clothes instead of hitting the stores.
c) Refashion your wardrobe – dabble in a bit of DIY to give your wardrobe a makeover.
Be a part of the fashion revolution, join the movement, and share in its cause. Register for a clothes swap, a DIY fashion station, and a fashion show for free or learn to upcycle your old shirts into stunning scarfs or a tote bag, or make upcycled jewelry at one of the free workshops. The event will be held at *SCAPE, the programme partner for Fashion Revolution Day, Singapore.