Fashion Revolution Week 2016
April 18, 2016
Fashion Revolution began in response to the devastating collapse at the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh in 2013, where 1,133 people were killed and 2,500 people were injured. The organisation campaigns to raise awareness of the true cost of fast-fashion and celebrate projects committed to ethical and sustainable fashion. On the 24th of April each year, Fashion Revolution Day is celebrated worldwide. Consumers are encouraged to turn their clothes inside out, so they display the label, in order to raise awareness and encourage people to think more about the production of their clothes. This year there will be a whole week of events all over the world from the 18th– 24th April. To celebrate Fashion Revolution Week, we round up the best sustainable fashion organisations and events in Manchester.
How can you get involved?
Fashion Revolution Day – Sunday 24 April
Take a photo of yourself with your labels on show and post to social media with the hashtag #whomademyclothes and tag the clothing brand which produced your outfit. Fashion Revolution wants brands to respond with pictures and stories from their makers, farmers and producers, encouraging them to be transparent about their supply chains and improve industry standards.
Stitched Up is a Charlton-based ethical fashion cooperative, set up in 2011. They do everything from garment making and upcycling workshops to clothes swaps and sewing machine hire and maintenance. They also organise Crafternoon, a monthly social the last Sunday of every month, where you can bring along your current project and chat to other makers, as well as a whole host of other sustainable fashion and crafting events.
Stitched up events taking place during Fashion Revolution Week:
Saturday 23 April
As part of Chorlton’s Big Green Happening, Stitched Up is running a clothes swap and a wardrobe surgery as well as The Big Green Fashion Show, starting from 4:30pm, at St Clements Church.
Check out all of their upcoming events and workshops on their website!
Manchester Metropolitan University
Documentaries and Discussion Panel – Friday 22 April
A free double bill film screening and discussion panel will be hosted at MMU, in collaboration with Stitched Up and The Resyntex Project, an organisation which researches and promotes textile recycling. The two films being screened are ‘Clothes to Die For’ and ‘The Secret Life of Your Clothes’, which will be followed by a panel discussion and Q&A, with lecturers from MMU, The University of Huddersfield and Leeds Beckett, as well as a Manchester-based knitwear designer.
In ‘Clothes to Die For’, survivors of the Rana Plaza disaster tell their remarkable story of survival and escape. The film also charts the origins and growth of the Bangladesh clothing industry, which now accounts for almost 80% of the country’s exports. As the personal stories of survivors reveal, in Bangladesh even a wage as low as £1.50 a day can be life changing and many don’t want that opportunity taken away.
‘The Secret Life of Your Clothes’ follows the trail of our unwanted clothes to Ghana, the biggest importer of UK castoffs. One million pounds worth of our old clothes arrive here every week. Importers make up to £25,000 a day, but not everyone is profiting. The local textile industry has been decimated and the deluge of our clothes has had a seismic effect on Ghanaian culture. Western outfits are fast replacing iconic West African prints and traditional garments.
Head over to MMU’s website for full details of the event and speakers.
And register for a free place on Eventbrite:
From September 2016 MMU will also be offering an MA in responsible fashion, aimed to give fashion professionals the necessary skills to face the challenges of making their industry, organisation and own practices more sustainable.
Future Learn, an online platform which offers online courses from leading universities, will soon be offering a free online course “How to build a sustainable fashion business”.
Find out more and register your interest on their website:
There is a multitude of charity, second-hand and vintage shops in Manchester, as well as stores which source ethically and sustainably produced new clothing. We’ve picked out three of the best places for sustainable shopping in Manchester but there are many more to be found!
Run by VInspired, Goodstock has its flagship store on Oxford Road. Goodstock aims to bust the myth that charity and second-hand shops only stock outdated and worn-out clothes. They aim to offer an alternative to traditional high street shops, offering a fresh take on the charity shop with unique and customisable second hand garments. They are always looking for new volunteers to help run their stores so head over to their website if you want to get involved! https://vinspired.com/goodstock/goodstock-manchester
VInspired also advertises Volunteering opportunities across the country, so their website is the best place to start if you want to volunteer in a charity shop.
A group of University of Manchester students have converted a former RBS store next to the Students’ Union into a sustainable fashion outlet, mainly stocking second-hand, vintage and upcycled clothing, sourced in the most part from student and staff donations. They also provide a space for students to work on their own projects and plan to run creative workshops. All proceeds go to support mental health charity Manchester Mind. The team behind the Closet believes that charity shops and sustainable shopping are an intrinsic part of the British high street. They aim to rebrand the image of the charity shop, by hand selecting stock and encouraging students to engage with the charity, whilst supporting Manchester’s alternative fashion scene.
After launching in 2005, Junk moved to the Northern Quarter two years ago. They stock three labels designed by their in-house design team (Made In The Mill, Jumble and Label of Love), as well as collaborating with up-and-coming designers. What’s more, the shop interior was fitted using entirely recycled and reclaimed materials. And if you’re feeling creative, the “School of Junk” offers a range of courses, such as Introduction to the Sewing Machine, Recycling and Customisation and Beginners Dress Making.
Drop into store or look out for their pop-up stalls at festivals this summer!
Find a list of businesses in Manchester which have been awarded Environmental Business Pledge awards on Manchester City Council’s website: