Thursday, 16 April 2015

FASHION REVOLUTION l Who Made Your Clothes?


W H O  M A D E  Y O U R   C L O T H E S

Fashion Revolution is now in it's second year; a now to be annual worldwide event in over 70 countries which encourages all forms of fashion campaign and activism to change the injustice in the production line and show solidarity with the people at the bottom of the fashion chain.

‘On 24 April 2013, 1133 people died in the Rana Plaza catastrophe in Dhaka, Bangladesh. A further 2500 were injured. They were killed while working for familiar fashion brands in one of the many ‘accidents’ that plague the garment industry’

There are events held worldwide and throughout London, This year I teamed up with some other campaigners to raise awareness and encourage shoppers to be curious about ‘who made your clothes?’  

By asking consumers, designers, brands, and all those who care to ask a simple question “Who Made My Clothes?” Fashion Revolution offers a ‘change in perspective that will lead to a deeper understanding’

One of the many pioneering charities to show support for this campaign are ‘TRAID’ and it was in the Shepherds Bush London store window that I created a the quilt as a live installation on Fashion Revolution day. 

Being a fashion textiles student at the London College of Fashion it was the perfect time to call in for some backup which really bought the quilt to life! 

I met with the lovely Orsola De Castro co-founder of Fashion Revolution day and owner of sustainable brand From Somewhere and decided to host the stitch in as one of the many creative campaigns on the day by people dedicated to change. 

Last year to mark the first anniversary I took to Carnaby St with other students and campaigners to march and campaign- once again asking 'who made my clothes?' This received great press and was covered by the guardian, evening standard and various fair trade blogs and sites.  

This year I decided I wanted to use my skills in textiles and fashion and create a visual impact which would ideally connect with people and interact in a unified effort to create a piece of art which would inspire people to find out more. I was so enchanted and inspired by the way that this connected to so many people and people really want to make a difference. The process of the quilt is displayed below,  and each piece of the quilt has a different touch added by contributors so look out for messages and hidden stitching! 

Talented team crocheting pieces for the quilt, Thankyou Josephine Cowell & Jacob Patterson for knitting away making letters, question marks and joining squares.

A big Thankyou to A- One Fabrics who donated off cuts to the project 

The way it worked was that shoppers chose a pre-printed square and attached it to the quilt in a place of their choice, the idea was that the process of stitching would mean that the quilt passed through multiple hands throughout the day and would result in being produced in a unified fashion, much like how we wanted to show solidarity and protest on the anniversary of this tragic day. 

A huge thank you to every passer-by on the street, shopper, and customer of Traid who came to find out more! Your squares, stitches and messages on the quilt were invaluable to the development of the quilt and the strength of the solidarity message. Here are some pictures of some of the shoppers who got involved in asking 'who made my clothes' 

At the end of a long exciting day of sewing, stitching and cutting we took the quilt down to The Cube Gallery in Shoreditch which was organised by the social entrepreneur Marianne Caroline who had the brilliant idea of a Fashion Revolution day cut out in which people cut out their labels to question just who is cut out in the fashion process. You can read more about it here: FRD CUT OUT and on her blog post here.

The quilt hanging as part of the installation in The Cube

Here we created a grid of labels in which people could interact with the exhibition and add a label.... 

                          THE CLOTHES MAP
 Just what happens when you begin to visualise where you clothes travel? Well we began to find out with this map system in which people could pin their labels to the country location it was made. This interactive approach provided really shocking and by the end of the evening we'd gathered from places all over the globe. 
The pile of labels began to grow as people kept on cutting out....


I want to say the biggest thank you to: 
-       Alice Bodgener for being my screen printing studio fairy godmother 
-       Orsola De Castro 
-       The white cube gallery
-       Traid 
-       Marianne Hughes 
-       Peckham print studio
-       A one fabrics 
-       Knitting dream team: Jacob Patterson and Josephine Cowell 
-       Erika braccini 
Chiara Tommedipisa and Margherita Grassi chief label cutters! <3

-   Every customer, shopper, and person who contributed to the quilt or got involved and curious throughout the day! 


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