I like the idea of starting September, the month of transition from summer to autumn and the moment always full of promises and intentions, a little like at the end of the year, with the Fashion Revolution’s Manifesto, a movement we have talked about so much and of which we will continue incessantly to speak, because we share its own principles.
The whole Manifesto, which I invite to sign anyone has not yet done so, contains ten points that correspond to ten “commandments” that the fashion system should follow to implement that revolution which is the dream of the founder of the movement and of who has joined it.
#1. Fashion provides dignified work, from conception to creation to catwalk. It does not enslave, endanger, exploit, overwork, harass, abuse or discriminate against anyone. Fashion liberates worker and wearer and empowers everyone to stand up for their rights.
#2. Fashion provides fair and equal pay. It enriches the livelihood of everyone working across the industry, from farm to shop floor. Fashion lifts people out of poverty, creates thriving societies and fullfils aspiration.
#3. Fashion gives people a voice, making it possible to speak up without fear, join together in unity without repression and negotiate for better conditions at work and across communities.
#4. Fashion respects culture and heritage. It fosters, celebrates and rewards skills and craftsmanship. It recognises creativity as its strongest asset. Fashion never appropriates without giving due credit or steals without permission. Fashion honours the artisan.
#5. Fashion stands for solidarity, inclusiveness and democracy, regardless of race, class, gender, age, shape or ability. It champions diversity as crucial for success.
#6. Fashion conserves and restores the environment. It does not deplete precious resources, degrade our soil, pollute our air and water or harm our health. Fashion protects the welfare of all living things and safeguards our diverse ecosystems.
#7. Fashion never unnecessarily destroys or discards but mindfully redesigns and recuperates in a circular way. Fashion is repaired, reused, recycled and upcycled. Our wardrobes and landfills do not overflow with clothes that are coveted but not cherished, bought but not kept.
#8. Fashion is transparent and accountable. Fashion embraces clarity and does not hide behind complexity nor rely upon trade secrets to derive value. Anyone, anywhere can find out how, where, by whom and under what conditions their clothing is made
#9. Fashion measures success by more than just sales and profits. Fashion places equal value on financial growth, human wellbeing and environmental sustainability.
#10. Fashion lives to express, delight, reflect, protest, comfort, commiserate and share. Fashion never subjugates, denigrates, degrades, marginalises or compromises. Fashion celebrates life.
Of course, in many respects it is a utopian Manifesto but as so many Manifesto have been in the course of history. Yet something is moving, it is like an oil stain that expands more and more on the surface of the water and positively contaminates the flow of mainstream fashion. On the other hand, for the biggest revolutions it takes long times to take in small steps.
Last but not the least, the illustrations that accompany the points of the Manifesto are from Barbra Araujo of Headhuntr Studio, beautiful, isn’t it?