We've come a long way when it comes to making transparency a priority in the fashion industry, whether that's focusing on ethical designs or dressing customers in sustainable materials. That being said, there's still a lot to be done in the journey to knowing exactly how clothes are made.
Two years ago today, the Rana Plaza factory complex in Dhaka, Bangladesh collapsed, resulting in 1,133 people killed and over 2,500 injuries. What does this have to do with ethical fashion? Everything. The complex's structure was built to maintain shops and offices—not factory spaces. In addition to the original building, four more floors had been added without a permit to accommodate more production. The added manufacturing-related stress resulted in cracks throughout the building's framework, of which employers in the building were warned. The next day, the structural cracks caused the building the collapse.
It's unsafe work environments like this that have plagued the fashion industry for centuries. Since the accident, April 24th has been deemed Fashion Revolution Day—24 hours dedicated to keeping brands honest about their manufacturing processes.