Do you know who made your clothes?
The 22nd-28th April 2019 is fashion revolution week, a time where people are encouraged to ask brands “who made my clothes?” and also a time to reflect on the way we consume fashion. Fashion revolution was sparked by the collapse of the Rana Plaza that killed 1134 people in 2013, Rana Plaza housed clothing manufacturers. This shocking event and other stories of unsafe working environments in the fashion industry (long hours, low wages, child workers, unsafe conditions) have caused me to set KoiNo up as a safe, ethical place of business.
If you’re wearing KoiNo, I made your clothes; you can find out more about me (and KoiNo) here. Currently KoiNo is at a manageable size where I can design, cut, make, press, package, and send every single order. As KoiNo grows I plan to keep all production in house. This is an unconventional move, most brands outsource to factories or outworkers locally or internationally. I want KoiNo to remain a design and manufacturing house, having makers work exclusively on KoiNo clothing, opening up job opportunities in the NZ fashion industry, and allow us to continue to make garments as they are needed rather than as bulk production that is the norm in the fashion industry.
While this model works for me and KoiNo, I understand that it is not possible for every fashion brand, nor should it be. There are many brands creating beautiful garments in an ethical way. I like to use the Good on You app to see who’s doing a good job at this and is worth buying from.
When it comes to where your clothing is made be sure to stay curious, find out, and do something. Find out more about fashion revolution including information on fashion revolution week at fashionrevolution.org.