Carry Somers and Orsola de Castro are the founders of Fashion Revolution, which they created to pressure fashion brands to protect garment workers.
The designers and advocates started the global activism movement in the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013. The fatal factory collapse in Bangladesh killed more than 1,100 people and ranks among the worst industrial disasters on record.
Though sustainability was yet to become a mainstream industry preoccupation, both Somers and de Castro were already embedded in early efforts to create a more ethical industry. Before starting Fashion Revolution, Somers founded hat brand Pachacuti in 1992, blazing a trail in radical supply chain transparency by tracking products all the way back to the GPS coordinates of their raw materials. De Castro’s brand, From Somewhere, which launched in 1997 and did collections for Speedo and Topshop, was completely upcycled.
Since its launch nearly 10 years ago, Fashion Revolution has played an instrumental role in leading the fashion toward greater transparency and accountability. Fashion Revolution Week, which marks the anniversary of Rana Plaza each year, reached nearly 600 million people on social media alone last year. The organisation also launched the Fashion Transparency Index, an annual barometer of big brands’ disclosures on human rights and environmental issues.