• Mata Traders
  • 18 Apr, 2017

April 24th-30th is Fashion Revolution Week! And since we know you’re just as excited for it as we are, we put together a handy resource guide to answer your questions, highlight events taking place near our Chicago headquarters, and let you know how you can get involved wherever you are!

What is Fashion Revolution?

Fashion Revolution is a not-for-profit organization based in the U.K. that is dedicated to creating a more ethical fashion industry, one that values its workers and the environment and treats them both with respect.

How did it come to be?

On April 24, 2013, the Rana Plaza in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed, killing 1,134 people and injuring more than 2,500. The factories inside the building produced garments for numerous popular apparel brands, including United Colors of Benetton and Zara. The day prior to the structural failure, cracks were discovered in the building, and architects warned that the conditions were dangerous. The space, originally designed for banking and retail use, wasn’t built to bear the weight of manufacturing plants with heavy machinery and thousands of employees. Under pressure to meet the short production deadlines of his fast fashion clientele, the building’s owner ordered factory staff to return to work the next day anyway. The catastrophe was the deadliest garment factory accident in history. More than half of the victims were women, along with many children who were in the factory’s daycare facility.

Photo credit: Fashion Revolution

To commemorate the tragedy, Fashion Revolution asks members of the fashion industry and people all over the world to unite annually on April 24th to make fashion a force for good. Believing that transparency is at the heart of ethical production, Fashion Revolution encourages everyone to ask one simple question: Who made my clothes?

What can I do?

There are numerous ways to get involved! If you live in the Chicago area, below is a list of events you can attend:

Friday, 4/21 – Fashion Show at DePaul

6pm – 9pm, Cortelyou Commons, 2324 N. Fremont St.

The DePaul Fair Trade Committee will be hosting its fourth annual Fashion Revolution event in commemoration of the Rana Plaza Disaster. From a Runway to a free Raffle, they will be providing food and entertainment with a special performance by local artist Ridgio and much more! And did we mention its entirely FREE?

Mata Traders will be at this event so come say hi!

Tuesday, 4/25 – Make Do and Mend

5pm – 9pm, 623 S. Wabash St.

Photo Credit: Fashion Revolution

Join a group of Columbia College fashion students to fix, tailor, and upcycle your clothing! While your garments are being altered, watch a screening of “The True Cost” in the same building. There will also be a screen printing demo, with t-shirts available for immediate purchase.

Want to make a night of it? Head to Epic Burger for dinner, and mention Chicago Fair Trade at checkout: 20% of your meal’s cost will be donated to CFT! RSVP here before April 22nd.

Wednesday, 4/26 – Fashion Show and Panel

5:45pm – 9pm, 618 S. Michigan Ave., 2nd floor

Photo credit: Chicago Fair Trade

Chicago Fair Trade and Columbia College are co-sponsoring an epic ethical fashion event! The night will begin with a social, where guests can treat themselves to fair trade wine and hors d’oeuvre while perusing a curated selection of pop-up shops. Afterwards, there will be a fashion show featuring clothing from fair trade vendors, resale shops, and sustainable student pieces. Lastly, there will also be a panel discussion with keynote speaker Kelsey Timmerman, author of “Where am I Wearing?”

Mata Traders will be at this event so come say hi!

Thursday, 4/27 – Film Screening and Q&A

1pm, Evanston Public Library

Photo credit: Eco Fashion Talk

Watch “Clothes to Die For,” a documentary about the Rana Plaza Tragedy. Stay for a Q&A with Kelsey Timmerman after the screening.

Friday, 4/28 – March to Nike

10am, 618 S. Michigan Ave.

Photo credit: Huffington Post

Join a group of delegates marching to the Nike store on Michigan Avenue in protest of Nike’s refusal to let the Worker Rights Consortium access their factories. Thank you notes will also be delivered to Eileen Fisher and Patagonia for their commitment and leadership in ethical fashion.

Not in Chicago? Not a problem!

Head to for a list of events taking place worldwide, or get involved any of the ways below:

Monday, 4/24 – Show Your Label

Photo credit: Fashion Revolution

Turn your clothing inside out and show off your label! Then snap a pic and post it to social media with the hashtag #WhoMadeMyClothes to demand transparency from apparel companies.

Thursday, 4/27 – Take a Stand

Take a stand today against companies that use sweatshops, exploit cheap labor, or aren’t transparent about their supply and production chains by donating to fair trade organizations or purchasing fair trade products!

If you’re having trouble deciding on a fair trade brand to support, we may have a suggestion for you…

Tell Your Fashion Love Story

Photo credit: Fashion Revolution

Clothing isn’t meant to be worn a couple times and discarded; it’s meant to be cherished, cared for, and passed on! Check out some of these fashion love stories, and then tell your own. Make an Instagram post, YouTube video, podcast, or blog post about an item in your closet that means a lot to you. Your story could be featured by Fashion Revolution!

Share Your #Haulternative

Photo credit: Haulternative

Fashion shopping hauls are all too common, but not at all necessary! There are numerous ways to refresh your wardrobe without buying new clothing. Make a video showing your #Haulternative, whether it be distressing jeans, trying a cute DIY, buying secondhand, or organizing a clothing swap with friends. Upload your video to YouTube during Fashion Revolution week and spread the hashtag #Haulternative. For a complete how-to, download the #Haulternative guide.

Become a Student Ambassador

Photo credit: Fashion Revolution

If you are a student and would like to get involved in organizing Fashion Revolution events at your college or university, download the guide!

Be a Conscious Shopper

The best way to stop the harmful effects of fast fashion is to stop supporting it. Instead, invest in slow fashion and research where and how a garment is made before purchasing. For a more comprehensive guide of how you can be a fashion revolutionary, download this booklet.

Learn more about how your favorite fair trade fashions are made at our artisan partner cooperatives, and how your support of ethical fashion affects the lives of garment workers overseas. And all week long, share Fashion Revolution photos from our facebook album of some of our artisans.

Newer Post

Mata Loves Moms

Older Post

search the blog
Most Popular Post