The West

Designers take the ethics challenge

A year ago, more than 1000 Bangladeshi garment workers died in a factory fire.

The tragedy shone a spotlight on the fashion industry's reliance on production workers in developing countries.

Working in cramped conditions for long hours and little pay, such garment and textile factory workers are the hidden faces behind the gloss of the fashion world.

Just ahead of World Fair Trade Day, organisers Antonia Taylor and Gaelle Beech devised Fairly Fashionable?, a challenge for local designers to see if they could create a garment within 14 days using fair trade fabrics sourced from manufacturing hubs such as Bangladesh and Cambodia.

The results will feature in a parade tonight at Fremantle venue MANY 6160.

"We couldn't have anticipated the level of interest and excitement our challenge has generated," Ms Beech said.

"It's testament to a strong desire among designers and consumers to examine the human impact of how garments are produced."

Fairly Fashionable? comes hot on the heels of the inaugural Fashion Revolution Day, where consumers wore their clothing labels on the outside, drawing attention to where they were made, and contacted fashion labels to ask about those working behind the scenes.

"You can love fashion, be creative and be ethical at the same time," Ms Beech said.

Fairly Fashionable?, which will include a talk on ethical and sustainable fashion, is on tonight at MANY6160 in Fremantle.

Tickets are $10 from or $15 at the door.

The West Australian

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