What is Fashion Revolution?
Have you heard of Fashion Revolution? It’s an organization that was started in the wake of the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh. The group works to raise awareness of the human and environmental impact of the fashion industry. Every year for the week surrounding the anniversary of the Rana Plaza tragedy, Fashion Revolution asks consumers to reach out to their favourite clothing brands to ask for more transparency about how their clothing is made.
How much do we know about the clothing in our closets? Beyond the country of origin on the tag, most of the major brands don’t volunteer a lot of information about their supply chains. You have to dig deep into brand websites for more information, which is often not forthcoming. During Fashion Revolution Week, consumers are asked to use the hashtag #whomademyclothes on social media to ask their favourite brands about where their clothing is made, and the conditions under which their workers are employed. Brands and individuals can respond using the hashtag #imadeyourclothes to share with you the faces and the names behind your favourite labels.
some ethical Canadian brands to check out
This list is by no means exhaustive; these are just some of the brands that I saw actively engaging in the conversation around Fashion Revolution Week on Instagram, and that I think are worth checking out if you’re interested in purchasing from Canadian companies who are transparent about their supply chains.
- Buttercream Clothing – Made locally in Calgary and sized inclusively up to a 3X, this brand is worth checking out. One caveat: items are made to order, so you could be waiting up to 2 months for delivery.
- Smash + Tess – This loungewear brand recently expanded their sizes up to an XXL, which fits up to a size 18/20. Their rompers have a cult following, and they often collaborate with Jillian Harris. Their new bodysuit is on my wishlist.
- The Garment – This unique small business curates pop-up shops to connect women with ethically made clothing. Many of the items the owner chooses are size-inclusive. They recently added the custom hot pink blazer of my dreams – out of my price range for now but it’s on my list.
- Franc – Not only are their beautiful basic tees and sweatshirts made in Canada, this company has recently started manufacturing their fabric here too. They recently expanded their size offering to XXL, but check the size charts carefully as the measurements differ for each item.
- Encircled – This made-in-Canada brand is all about minimalism and pieces that are made to last. Many of their clothing items can be worn multiple ways to give your wardrobe more versatility.
- Poppy Barley – This brand was started by sisters Justine and Kendall Barber in Edmonton in 2012, and from the beginning they’ve been dedicated to maintaining the highest ethical standards in their business. Check out the Behind the Label area of their website where they share factory tours, environmental standards, and more. I’m looking forward to checking out their pop-up shop next week here in Ottawa.
- Armadillo – I discovered this brand on Instagram during Fashion Revolution Week, and their designs are really cute. I’d love to have the opportunity to see them in person. This paper bag design is so unique.
- Unbelts – Proud of their ethical supply chain, this brand makes a belt that fits pretty much everyone. And if you fall outside of their size range, no problem – they’ll make one just for you.
- Lost in Layers – *Note: although I did not see them participate in the #whomademyclothes conversation on Instagram, this is a made-in-Canada brand that I have recently purchased from and I wanted to include them.* I discovered this company’s kimonos during a random stop by the JV Studios boutique in Westboro. I fell in love with a black embroidered kimono, but it was in the long length, which is not so flattering on my short frame. I immediately ordered the short version from the website and am waiting for it to arrive. It will definitely be showing up in my Instagram feed!
For more information about Fashion Revolution, check out their website here.