I had the privilege of hearing Carry Somers, Patchacuti MD and founder of Fashion Revolution Day, speak at Brighton Fashion Week. The audience listened in awed silence as Carry explained how she had created a socially and environmentally responsible brand, as well as launching Fashion Revolution Day in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster in April 2013.
She founded Fairtrade hat company Pachacuti back in 1992. The word Pachacuti means ‘world upside down’ in the Quechua language, and symbolises the company’s efforts to redress the inherent inequalities in the fashion industry. Fairtrade hats are woven by 165 women in their Panama hat association; Patchacuti is able to track their progress and measure the impact on those weavers, as well as having traceability throughout the supply chain.
The idea for Fashion Revolution Day ‘popped into’ Carry’s head a few days after the Rana Plaza disaster. She says, ‘everywhere I looked there were newspaper articles calling for a more ethical fashion industry.’ She contacted Orsola de Castro, founder of Esthetica at London Fashion Week, which led to interest by Lucy Siegle, The Observer’s ethical living columnist. They agreed that an annual Fashion Revolution Day was needed to channel concerns into an ongoing campaign.
So mark your calendars for 24th April 2015 and get involved.
@carrysomers @pachacutiUK #insideout