Fashion Revolution 2022
This year, we are publishing our 2021 Sustainability Report deliberately during Fashion Revolution Week 2022. Fashion Revolution is the largest fashion activism movement worldwide and was founded after the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013. Every year, Fashion Revolution Week happens in the week surrounding the 24th of April, the date of the Rana Plaza collapse. This year, the theme is ‘Money Fashion Power’ and this is a theme close to my heart. I believe that money and power are so fundamental to sustainability that I get annoyed when they are not taken into account.
Because without fair pay to producers, fashion can never be sustainable. I often see, and this is not limited to fashion, large brands setting up sustainability programs, conscious collections, or an impact project. But this is done either for a small part of their supply chain or even worse, aside from their effective supply chain. These brands are not willing to change their financial structures or the power balance which they profit from, and are therefore susceptible to greenwashing. Greenwashing will never lead to the systemic change that is so desperately needed, no matter how nice the promises may sound.
We are currently rolling out our living wage project to all our producers in Kolkata, after a successful pilot in 2021. As we do not own any factories, we do not have a direct influence on salaries there, we do however take responsibility by paying an additional premium. This covers our share of the gap between the current wages and the mutually agreed upon target living wage. Although we want to go further, we aim to set up a new methodology that guarantees structurally higher wages that inspires other brands to start paying their share too, since we cannot do it alone.
I’m not saying O My Bag is perfect, but at least we have built our total business around the purpose of making a positive difference. For the ones making our bags, for those of you buying our bags, and for our team. You’ll read in the report that 2021 was an impactful year for O My Bag. But there’s no success without hurdles. Being transparent means sharing the mistakes and failures too. I believe they give a lot more insight into what it really means to be a sustainable business. Our latest sustainability report, therefore, includes our 2021 wins, but also the hurdles and our future focus.
Curious? Read the full report now.
How can I show my support?
We strongly support Fashion Revolution’s Good Clothes Fair Pay campaign. It is a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) for living wages in the fashion supply chain, demanding legislation that helps to achieve fair pay for textile and garment workers around the world. The campaign must collect at least 1 million signatures from EU citizens, so make sure to sign up for their newsletter and sign the petition once it is live.