Why it's important to know #WhoMadeMyClothes

Why it's important to know #WhoMadeMyClothes

It’s Fashion Revolution Week when we reflect on the devastating collapse of the Rana Plaza factory on 24 April 2013. As a way of ensuring brands take responsibility for the people working in its supply chain, including those who cut and sew our clothes, Fashion Revolution asks citizens around the world to hold brands to account and ask if they know who makes their clothes. It’s important to know this basic information because it’s the first step to ensuring greater transparency in supply chains. What you can’t see, you can’t fix, and fashion supply chains can be complex and murky. 

At Ninety Percent we have always been open and honest about who makes our clothes. We know our garment workers at the Echotex factory in Bangladesh which is a leader in both its environmental footprint as well as the care that is taken of its workers, including providing breakfast and hot lunch alongside a crèche to make life easier for working mothers. 

When Ninety Percent answers the question #WhoMadeMyClothes, we include our whole team because we value everyone from our new head designer Louise Langkilde to our product developer Tess Landon-Lane in London and of course, our skilled machinists like Khushi Begum in Bangladesh without whom your clothes would not be so expertly crafted. 

So we welcome your questions. We are as proud to share with our community who makes your clothes, as our talented team are to be part of this pioneering new business model which shares 90% of its profits with causes close to our hearts. 

Here, some of our team share a little about their working days, and their hopes for the future. 

Fashion Revolution Week, Imadeyourclothes, Echotex, Bangladesh

Name: Shuly Khatun

Job title: Junior Quality Inspector

Location: Quality Development at Echotex, Bangladesh

Describe a typical day:

I wake up early in the morning, then take a bath and start cooking. I get ready for the factory after having my breakfast. Just after I enter the factory and punch my card in the time machine, I collect working tools from my supervisor and clean the workstation properly. I receive garments from the ironing section and start to check the quality issues of the garments. I do my prayer and have lunch at the factory. I go home after completing my duty and take some rest and also spend some time with my mother. I have dinner, do my prayer, sometimes I use my smartphone for entertainment at night and after then go to bed.

What has been the biggest challenge for you over the past 12 months?

My new work instructions were more challenging for me. Previously I worked in the sewing section but now I am working in the finishing section which was a big challenge for me but I overcame it. Now I enjoy my regular work and assigned tasks a lot.

What is the one thing that would make the general fashion industry better?

Higher quality products and making sure shipments are made on time.   

Name: Louise Langkilde Larsen

Job title: Head of Design

Location: London

Describe a typical day: 

I come from a Scandinavian design background and as a designer I am particularly drawn to the simple and timeless. I spend a lot of time experimenting with different designs, often getting lost working on a small detail, perhaps a pocket or a new innovative material, that will define the finished garment. I love art and architecture so a perfect day would include a visit to a gallery or followed by time with family and friends.

What has been the biggest challenge for you over the past 12 months?

Having to homeschool and work at the same time. - but must say it's been amazing spending so much time with my son; it's really something to value. 

What is the one thing that would make the general fashion industry better?

Designing for longevity.


Fashion Revolution Week, Imadeyourclothes, Echotex, Bangladesh

Name: Khushi Begum

Job title: Operator

Location: Sewing Development at Echotex, Bangladesh 

Describe a typical day:

I wake up early in the morning, then do my prayer, take a bath and start cooking. I get ready for work after taking my breakfast, and I enter the factory wearing a mask and punch my card in the time machine. After receiving all the necessary instructions, I start my task sewing garments. At prayer time, I do my prayer and go for lunch at the factory dining. I go home after completing my duty and take care of my child. After cooking, I have dinner with my family, sometimes I watch television for entertainment at night and then go to bed. 

What has been the biggest challenge for you over the past 12 months?

Recently I have completed my maternity leave and delivered a baby boy. It was a big challenge for me.

What is the one thing that would make the general fashion industry better?

Better working conditions in Bangladesh, a good behaviour towards one another and increase the production rate by using new technologies.


whomademyclothes, Fashion Revolution Week

Name: Tess Landon-Lane

Job title: Product Developer/Garment Technician

Location: London

Describe a typical day:

Either launching new styles or fitting garments and going through fitting notes and communicating with the factory what changes they need to make.

What has been the biggest challenge for you over the past 12 months?

I had to learn how to ride all the emotional waves of the uncertainty, for me personally and for the world as a whole and the solitude of suddenly living alone, not having anyone to help occupy me and regulate my moods

What is the one thing that would make the general fashion industry better?

Clearly choosing just one is difficult considering how varied and numerous the issues are. I really would like to see workers paid appropriately for the work they do, hopefully this would have a knock-on effect, meaning that labels do not order as many clothes as they have been, hence reducing the impact on the environment at the beginning of their lifespan and at the end. 


whomademyclothes, Fashion Revolution Week, Echotex, Bangladesh

Name: Bely Begum

Job title: Sample Machinist 

Location: Sewing Development at Echotex, Bangladesh

Describe a typical day:

I wake up early in the morning for my first prayer and to read the holy Quran, then take a bath and cook my breakfast. When I get to the factory, I check that my machine is clean by sewing waste fabrics before starting my work. I make samples as instructed by my supervisor – I can sew 20 garment samples per day. I do my prayer and have lunch at the factory. I go home after completing my duty and return the tools to my supervisor. I take some rest after reaching my house and as I live with my family, I also spend some time with them. I have dinner, pray and then go to bed. 

What has been the biggest challenge for you over the past 12 months?

New sample making was more challenging for me. But now I can make samples properly and enjoy it a lot.

What is the one thing that would make the general fashion industry better?

Industry needs more modernised machines. I think it can increase production as well as protect the safety of workers.

 

To find out more about how to get involved with Fashion Revolution, follow them @fash_rev or www.fashionrevolution.org

This year they are asking you to invite a friend to sign up here and they will be sent an introduction pack. The more of us who get involved, the quicker change will happen.