As the number of deaths on the Bangladesh building collapse continues to rise, the fashion brands involved discuss how they will help the victims and their families in the aftermath of what has turned out to be the most deadily of disasters in the Bangladesh garment industry. Whilst 24th April 2013 was a dark day for the fashion industry, the building collapse that happened that day was by no means an isolated incident. Death and injury are common place amongst garment industry workers in Bangladesh driven by poverty and struggling to produce low cost clothing on tight time scales in dangerous and inhumane conditions. Compensation is needed for the victims and their families but there needs to be more done to prevent similar tragedies from happening in the future.
Whilst the fashion industry thinks about what should be done if anything and talk continues over greater regulations in Bangladesh, it seems that consumer voice and demand could be the most important factor in driving sustainable change in the fashion industry.
How Can Fashion Bloggers Make a Difference?
One of things that I have always loved about fashion blogging and reading fashion blogs is that they give an independent view of fashion standing apart from the industry in many ways and refusing to be dictated to on what they should or shouldn’t wear. Bloggers not only have a voice as consumers of fashion but also have varying levels of influence over others and their buying choices.
Through their blogs and other social media platforms, I believe that fashion bloggers can make a difference and drive change, creating a greater awareness amongst consumers of the issues within the fashion industry. Here are just a few ways that you as a fashion blogger can make a difference and help to ensure that a tragedy like that of the Rana Plaza in Bangladesh on 24th April never happens again.
Join the call for change
Join Ms Wandas 1% Campaign calling for companies to invest a minimum of 1% of their profits to ensure the human rights of garment workers are properly protected. You could also tell your readers about these campaigns. Facebook and blog badges and Twitter Avatars are also available at Ms Wandas.
Sign the petition Amirul Haque Amin, President National Garment Workers Federation in Bangladesh to ensure safety for workers & compensate victims of building collapse and the Clean Clothes Campaign petition telling brands to take responsibility and sign the Bangladesh Fire and Building Safety Agreement share it through your social networks.
Write to the CEO’s of brands or contact them through Twitter and Facebook to ask them to take full responsibility for their supply chain ensure safety for those working in it.
Thinking carefully about what you buy is not only a good way to be a good consumer but also to set an example and inspire others to do the same. Each fashion blog is unique and different and can find a new and interesting way to raise awareness of issues in the fashion industry and encourage responsible consumption. This could be by posts directly discussing the issues to commentary on the choices of clothes that you make and why, to featuring ethical fashion brands in your outfit posts or telling the story behind your clothes and how they were made.
As a fashion blogger you are ideally placed to inspire others to be responsible consumers with your unique and creative style. In addition as consumers we all hold the power to drive change in the fashion industry and to help ensure that such a terrible disaster will never happen again.
How will you be making a difference?
Ceri writes at Style Eyes Ethical Fashion Blog and is the founder of style-is.co.uk. You can find her on twitter @StyleEyes.