Who Made My Clothes 2016: The Replies
During Fashion Revolution Week this year (18th-24th April) 70,000 people around the world took to twitter to ask brands who made their clothes. More than 1000 companies replied, and of those 300 are global brands. I tweeted one brand each day during Fashion Revolution Week asking them #WhoMadeMyClothes? I began with Freya Lingerie, followed by H&M, Clements Ribeiro, John Smedley, BAM Clothing, Marks and Spencer and on Fashion Revolution Day itself I tweeted Topshop.
Three brands, Freya, John Smedley and BAM, got back to me, some with more details than others. But by last week – almost three months on from Fashion Revolution Day – I hadn’t received a response from H&M, Clements Ribeiro, M&S and Topshop. I tweeted each of them again asking:
I still haven't received a reply from these four brands and I will be contacting them again. However, the fact that nearly half of the companies I tweeted did respond to tell me who made my clothes is certainly positive. Here are their replies:
Clicking on the link in their tweet I discover that Timex, Freya’s producers have various certifications from the likes of Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), and Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI). After researching on Timex's website a little more I found out which of the factories are involved in lingerie manufacturing and which certifications they each have. As a customer, I then need to do my own research into each of these organisations to learn more about what their certification means (I couldn't see this information on their website and they don’t appear to link to each organisation). Whilst I’m very pleased that Freya responded and I was happy to discover that they are working such a responsible producer they didn’t make it particularly easy for me to find what I was looking for. I would like to see an ethical policy on their own website outlining their corporate social responsibility. I would also love them to have told me more about the people who make my clothes.
This video by John Smedley speaks for itself. They got back to me really quickly and were able to tell me by name (and show me) who is likely to have made my knitwear! BAM (below) are a company who I already knew to have an ethical business model and they have details on their website outlining their ethos along with links to the standards they adhere to and exceed.
This year Fashion Revolution achieved 156 million impressions of #whomademyclothes. When so many of us tell brands that we care about the provenance of our clothes, they can’t help but listen and engage with the issues, as Orsola de Castro, Director of Fashion Revolution explains:
“We believe that asking ‘who made my clothes’ is a powerful question. It makes you think about your clothes in a different way. It pushes companies to consider the people working in their supply chains. When we hear from farmers, producers, factory workers and makers saying ‘I made your clothes’, it’s equally as powerful. It gives the world a chance to recognise and celebrate their hard work and skills.”
For more details about Fashion Revolution Week and to find out how you can get involved, visit www.fashionrevolution.org.