In April 2013, 1133 people were killed and over 2,500 injured, when the Rana Plaza factory collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Since this disaster, society is slowly becoming more informed about the dark, shadowy and often inhumane actions that occur across the fashion supply chain. This cause has largely been championed by an organisation called Fashion Revolution (www.fashionrevolution.com).
Fashion revolution is a coalition of designers, academics, writers, business leaders and parliamentarians all collaboratively calling for systematic reform to the murky underbelly of the fashion supply chain. Their aim is to highlight and educate the often wicked processes that are at the coalface of garment creation. Which, in turn gives people the choice to make a more informed purchasing decision.
To highlight these conditions, Fashion Revolution have created an annual ‘Fashion Revolution Day’, where they ask Instagram users to take a picture of themselves with their garments inside out, posing the question – who made my clothes?
Fashion Revolution’s key mantra is ‘people care when they know’ and based on this philosophy they implemented a campaign that used Instagram to “shine the spotlight” on the fashion industry in a completely unique, original and disruptive way.
Aligning with this year’s Fashion Revolution Day, the organisation decided to go one step further, by deciding to shock consumers into being made aware of the environments in which cheap clothing is made.
An element of their campaign included a pop up T-shirt vending machine in Berlin, The vending machine had a clear call to action offering shoppers a chance to buy a “2 Euro T-shirt” – when people made a purchase, instead of being sold a tee, customers were shown shocking images of the production conditions that went into creating the garment.
Once the video was shown, they were then asked the question of whether they would like to donate or buy the garment.
In the digital age, Instagram and other social platforms are a great way to raise awareness of organisations that are calling on social change, however, psychology tells us that we need more than that to change behaviour. People need to be challenged and educated in ways that resonate with them.
What Fashion Revolutions campaign told us, was that creating an engaging stunt in a high volume foot traffic location, which draws the person in on a particular pretence, but uses the opportunity to highlight and educate on a deeper issue is a proof point that certainly proves the mantra of ‘people care, when they know!’