Raising for Rana Total at £4,500 and Climbing

Raising for Rana took place on the 24th of April in London. The event’s aim was to raise money for victims of the collapse of the garment factory at Rana Plaza in Dhaka, Bangledesh a year earlier.

The fundraiser was organised by documentary film company Rainbow Collective, in association with charity organisations traid, War on Want and OpenVizor. Rainbow Collective premiered their moving documentary Tears in the Fabric at the event (view it above). ‘Tears’ looks at the community affected by the disaster, a year on. You can read the Huffington Post’s review here.

Raising for Rana have – today – announced that they have raised over £4,500 through their charity auction and private donations. The event drew over 300 guests and you can see images of the event on the Raising for Rana web site. They have also launched an online charity shop via their site. You can visit the site to buy ethically made clothes and other products. Donations are welcome.

Please Share our Film: We’re giving 20% of Sales to Victims of Rana Plaza

The Fableists are helping to raise funds for the event Raising for Rana. We are pledging 20% of all sales in April and May to helping victims of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh last year. All of the money that Raising for Rana collects will go directly to the victims.

20% of all sales (exclusing shipping) from TheFableists.com will be donated, so this is a great time to place your order and help support a great cause.

All of The Fableists’ clothes are ethically produced in factories that have been certified as safe for the workers. We do not use sweatshops and we do not use child or slave labour during any part of the making of our clothes; from the planting of the cotton to the delivery of the goods to your door. We believe that it’s high time that all businesses operate this way.

Please watch our film, which lets everyone know about the money we’re pledging to Raising for Rana. Like, share, and tweet the film and help us to raise a lot of money.


The Fableists


Raising for Rana in support of Rana Plaza Victims – TONIGHT!

raisingforrana bannerRaising for Rana is a charity fundraiser organised by London-based documentary film company Rainbow Collective. It is taking place TONIGHT in London, to mark the one year anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster at a garment factory in Bangladesh.

Documentary filmmakers Hannan Majid & Richard York travelled to Bangladesh earlier this year to film how those affected by the building collapse are coping a year on. Their not-for-profit film, Tears in the Fabric will premiere at tonight’s event. Please view the trailer below.

Funding for this project was made possible by OpenVizor, TRAID and Made In Europe and tonight’s event has been put together entirely with donations.

In addition to the film premiere, there is a charity auction being held online, which ends at 12 noon on Friday 25th April. Everyone can get involved by bidding on some great merchandise donated by a whole host of ethically minded companies from all over the world. Check out the auction site here.

Winning bidders will be notified by email at the auction’s conclusion.

Rainbow Collective have also launched a resource site with photos, testimonials and campaign info on the Rana Plaza disaster. They have made this a free-to-use resource, so if you need materials and information for your own campaign, or for your school, then it is available here for you to access.

Following the event tonight, photos and details of the event will also be available to download at the Raising for Rana web site.

How can you help?

1 – Go online and bid, Bid, BID! There are some amazing items to be won in the auction.

2 – You can also make a direct donation at Just Giving. All the money raised will go directly to the victims of the Rana Plaza disaster. There is no administration team or any other groups who will get a share of the funds raised.

3 – Buy from The Fableists. 20% of all our net sales until June 1st will be donated to the Raising for Rana fundraising effort.

If you are interested in attending the fundraiser and film premiere tonight in London, there may still be space, so get in touch with Raising for Rana via their web site.

Don’t forget to shout about it on social media using:
@trcdocumentary @RaisingforRana #RaisingforRana

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April 22 2014: Make Your #EarthDay Pledge a #FashionPledge

Earth Day began in April 1970 and it is widely credited with kick-starting the modern environmental movement. It led to the passing and implementation of environmental laws. It also led to the creation of one of the most universal environmental icons, the recycling symbol, which is now a part of our daily life. The Earth Day Network (EDN) now works with over 22,000 organisations in over 190 countries to “broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement”. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, all over the world, making it the largest civic observance on the planet.

At The Fableists we aim to make our clothes without drawing on the Earth’s resources. The cotton we use is organically grown and relies on rainwater from India’s monsoon. The dyes we use are chemical free and also applied in a closed-loop system which purifies the water so that it can be recycled. It is not leached in to the local ecosystem. We use a number of factories that employ renewable energy sources such as wind farms and the burning of rice husks rather than fossil fuels. We are committed to achieving our eco credentials.

So, what will you do today to celebrate #EarthDay?

Earth Day Network is asking you to take a ‘Pledge of Green’, from eating less meat, to starting to compost, to reducing your energy consumption. They aim to reach 2 billion pledges (they are currently over 1 billion), so take a look at their campaigns.

This week also marks the one year anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse in Bangladesh, where over 1,100 people were killed in the name of fast fashion. But there are thousands more victims of this terrible disaster where garment workers toiled in un-safe conditions and were unable to escape when fire raged through the building. The victims include the injured, disabled, widowed, orphaned and those left destitute. The Earth is also a victim of these sweatshops, which cut costs at every corner. These are the victims of the way that we all buy fashion.

On this Earth Day, TheFableists would like you to pledge to change to the way that you buy your clothes – from today forward. Find out where your clothes are made before you buy them. Make a commitment to buying clothes that are sweatshop-free and produced according to ethical and environmental standards. We don’t want to see rivers turned blue with toxic dyes or land filled with discarded articles of clothing. Teach your children that they need to consider where and how an item was made before they buy. Tell us about your pledge with the hashtag #FashionPledge.

Rana Plaza is just one of many such disasters to claim victims in the name of fashion. Let’s make sure that it is the last.

Please support our Kickstarter campaign for a new range of Kids eco and ethical clothing here.

Fableists: Show your Support for Positive Fashion – Fashion Revolution Day – #INSIDEOUT

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On April 24th last year, 1133 people were killed when the Rana Plaza factory collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Many more were injured. Today, people are still suffering as a direct result of our fashion supply chain. Fashion Revolution Day says enough is enough.

This year, to mark the one year anniversary of the factory collapse, people from across the globe – from designers and icons, to high street shops and high couture, from cotton farmers and factory workers, to campaigners, academics, the media and any individual who cares about what they wear – will come together to ask one simple question: “Who Made Your Clothes?”

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Everyone can be part of Fashion Revolution Day by wearing an item of clothing inside out, photographing it and then sharing it with the hashtag #insideout. To all of The Fableists, wear your clothes from The Fableists and add the hashtag #TheFableists to your post. That way, our tribe can show their support for better connections and transparency across the fashion supply chain.

Visit the Fashion Revolution Day website to find full details and how you can get involved.

Interested in being a country co-ordinator? Find full details here.

Don’t forget to follow Fashion Revolution Day on Twitter and Facebook.

via Ethical Fashion Source Network

20% of all The Fableists’ Sales in April to be Donated to Raising for Rana

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We are very pleased to annouce that 20% of all The Fableists’ web sales in April 2014 will be donated to Raising for Rana. 

Raising For Rana is a not-for-profit initiative that has teamed with War on Want, TRAID and the documentary film production company Rainbow Collective CIC to put on a large scale charity fundraising event in London on April 24th, the one year anniversary of the Rana Plaza garment factory collapse in Bangladesh. The event will feature the film premiere of Rainbow Collective’s documentary Tears in the Fabric. You can read our interview with directors Richard and Hannan and find out about the charity auction fundraiser here.

Shop ’til you drop – and all for a great cause!

You can rest assured that the clothes you buy for your children from The Fableists are not made in sweatshops, or using child labour. They do not contain harmful toxic chemicals as they are made of organic cotton, supporting a collective of farmers in India. They are dyed using natural ingredients in a closed-loop system that does not dump chemicals back in to the environment. The waste water is purified and recycled for the next batch of dying.

Visit us at www.TheFableists.com and support this great cause.

Please share using the social media buttons below if you believe that clothes should be made ethically. Thank you. 

Rainbow Collective’s Documentary ‘Tears in the Fabric’ Helps Raise Funds for Rana Plaza Victims

raisingforrana bannerRaising For Rana is a not-for-profit initiative in association with charity organisations including War on Want and Traid. It is in place to raise awareness and raise funds for the victims of the Rana Plaza collapse. A fundraising event will take place on the 24th April 2014; exactly one year on from the disaster. The event will feature a film premiere and charity auction.

This event is organised by Rainbow Collective, a unique production company, formed as a social enterprise and committed to raising awareness on issues of human and childrens’ rights through powerful cinematic documentaries. Filmmakers Hannan Majid and Richard York have collaborated with Amnesty International, The Consortium For Street Children, War On Want, ActionAid and many others.

The Fableists spoke to Richard and Hannan about Raising for Rana.

raisingThe Fableists > Your latest documentary film, ‘Tears in the Fabric’ will premiere on April 24th. Can you tell us the significance of the date you’ve chosen?

Rainbow Collective > April the 24th 2014 is the one year anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse, so we thought it would be the ideal date on which to premiere “Tears in the Fabric.”

Last year, a couple of weeks after the disaster, we ran a fundraiser for the families of the victims and screened our earlier film “The Machinists” as part of the event. We wanted to build on that for the 1 year anniversary.

The Fableists > You’ve shot in Bangladesh about the garment trade in the past. Tell us about your previous work on this topic.

Rainbow Collective > We’ve actually shot 2 other films on or around the subject of garment workers in Bangladesh.

In 2010 we made “The Machinists” for the Al Jazeera channel, which was a 45 minute observational doc following the lives of 3 garment working families, with an emphasis on the women workers. The film also followed the head of a garment workers trade union, the NGWF, and his fight to secure a better life for the workers. The film was successful on its broadcast and we were very pleased to be able to give it an extended life by offering it to campaigners, pressure groups and such like in order to raise awareness and funds for female garment workers in Bangladesh and beyond.

Our other film, “Mass-e-Bhat” is a feature length doc, supported by Channel 4 Britdoc Foundation, recounting the life of a young man in Bangladesh’s largest slum. Through the telling of his story and his travels from the rural villages to the rubbish tips and garment factories of Dhaka, the audience is shown a series of short observational stories about young people living in those situations in the country’s present.

Through the story of 1 person’s life, “Mass-e-Bhat”, which is to be released this summer, really gives a comprehensive overview of the wider social factors, which keep the garment factories full of workers fresh from the villages.

The Fableists > Do you have a personal connection to this cause and how did you get involved?

Rainbow Collective > Hannan’s family are originally from Bangladesh and he still has many relatives there. Some of them work in the garments trade; through some family and friend connections we were able to gain access to begin filming “Mass-e-Bhat” in 2008.

Our social enterprise production company, Rainbow Collective, was always set up as a way to produce films which could serve wider purposes beyond traditional distribution, so we began to connect the scenes which we were filming with campaigns via a wide range of grass-roots and international NGOs.

The more we’ve campaigned on the issue, the more stories have presented themselves which we are keen to highlight. Unfortunately these stories of late have involved workers losing their lives whether in Tazreen Fire or Rana Plaza. Which made us more determined to highlight these issues.

The Fableists > Richard and Hannan, you are both filmmakers and have worked together for many years. How long have you been working together and how did you meet?

Rainbow Collective > We met at the Northern Film School in Leeds in 2002. We both had different skills and specialisms but after graduation we had the opportunity to co-direct a feature length documentary in South Africa, “AmaZulu: The Children of Heaven”.

The film went on to receive cinema distribution in South Africa and also to be used as a tool by the South African government to encourage and inspire head teachers in KwaZulu Natal province.

This established the model upon which we’ve based the last 10 years of our working relationship – making character led, cinematic documentaries which can be used over the years for to promote social change.

The Fableists > While working on ‘Tears in the Fabric’, you filmed in Savar, Bangladesh, where the Rana Plaza building was. What has happened to the site over the past year?

Rainbow Collective > The whole town of Savar seems to be under a cloud, even a year on from the disaster. The site itself has mostly been cleared now and has become a kind of dark green swamp in between 2 other buildings. As we see in “Tears in the Fabric” though, the rubble, machinery and everything else caught up in the collapse was transported away from the site and dumped in huge piles, right beside the neighborhoods where many of the victims and their families live, just down the road from the site.raising 2

According to locals, when they first dumped the stuff there, the smell of decaying bodies was so strong nobody could go near it and anybody trying to investigate the dumping ground would be beaten by the police. The site is now strewn with a combination of the garments that the locals were producing for western brands and the clothes which the workers themselves were wearing when the building collapsed. In all of our time filming together, it was certainly the most challenging and disturbing environment we’ve found ourselves in.

The Fableists > With this film, you were eager to tell the story of the people affected by the building collapse, rather than the brands involved. Why was this important to you?

Rainbow Collective > Over the past year, there’s been a number of documentaries and journalistic reports focusing on the big-name brands and their responsibility for the disaster. While these films are very important in raising public awareness, we felt that there was a real lack of voices from the people who were affected most – the victims themselves and their families. It sometimes seems that western audiences only really believe a report or a current affairs doc if it’s fronted by a well spoken, well educated western journalist and often, even when they do have a local person being interviewed, their voice is dubbed over by an English interpreter, rather than subtitled.

In the case of Rana Plaza, we agree that the brands should be shown up for their role in the disaster, but we also want the people who were most affected to have the chance to be heard as well, rather than to become yet more faceless statistics in a political debate. For this reason, we also interviewed around 20 victims and bereaved family members as part of an online resource site to be used by academics, journalists and campaigners in years to come.

riasing 3The Fableists > Your documentary follows a grandmother in Savar who has been affected by the Rana Plaza disaster. Can you tell us a bit about her?

Rainbow Collective > Razia Begum is a grandmother who lost her two daughters and a son in law in the disaster. She now looks after her two young grandsons and is struggling to make ends meet and to come to terms with the enormity of her loss. When her family was still alive, they all lived together in a nice house with plenty of food and the kids were in an expensive private school. Now, however, Razia and the boys have found themselves homeless and relying on the goodwill of others in order to survive. The film follows the distraught but resilient Razia, a year on from losing most of her family, as she struggles to educate her grandchildren while fighting for compensation from the brands.

The Fableists > Your subject matter is very emotional and must be very affecting to work on. How do prepare for a shoot with this kind of human story?

Rainbow Collective > We have worked on the garments topic for some time and have spent many years campaigning on this issue so the background information that we needed for a shoot like this was already there. We did as much research as we could from the UK before going out because of our regular connection with the people at the National Garment Workers Federation who were organising all the interviewees.

When shooting documentaries you have to expect the unexpected, and that happened to us many times on this shoot. The family that we were originally going to shoot with had left Savar and gone to the village on holiday and so had our back-up family. Kobir, the head of the NGWF’s Savar office, then introduced us to Razia Begum who is the main character in ‘Tears In the Fabric’.

Of course it was very emotional time for us because we had to take in many testimonials that we shot as well as spending the time with Razia Begum and seeing how the loss of two girls and a son in law has affected her. We have worked with the Bangladeshi garment-making community for a few years now and it is a subject very close to our hearts so to see the aftermath and human cost of such a disaster close up was hard. In situations like you have to be strong, our purpose of being there was to document what is happening and we hope through that we can create some positive changes that can benefit the people of Savar. Those people are talking to us for the same reason so that it was important to hold our emotions together and carry on shooting.

Many docs have appeared in the past year that have focussed on the brands who were manufacturing in the building and the consumers who buy those brands. There have been many documentaries from all over the world who have dealt with the Rana Plaza. All these documentaries have been very focused on the brands. They do this because most of the documentaries audience will probably be buying those brands. A majority of the brands on the high street in London, Paris, Madrid, Dubai, New York etc., have been making clothes in Rana Plaza. So its just regular people and its not really fair to assume that all those people should know the ethics of these brands. These brands need to really look at the way they are doing business in Bangladesh and rather than exploit the work force for as many hours and little pay as possible should be looking at how it can help develop that industry into a safe and happy work place.

The Fableists > Your premiere event on April 24th in London will feature a charity auction. Where will the funds raised go?

Rainbow Collective > In response to the Rana Plaza collapse last year we decided to screen our documentary ‘The Machinists’ which was about garment workers as part of a fundraiser to raise finances for those people who have been directly affected by Rana Plaza. Due to our strong connection with War On Want and the NGWF we were able to set up a Just Giving page where any money that was raised would go to War On Want who would then pass it on the NGWF who then would give it their members who were in or have been directly affected by Rana Plaza. Every penny goes to help garment workers themselves such Razia Begum who lost two daughters and a son in law. Whilst in Savar we were able to talk to some of the people who had received some of the money that was donated. It does make a difference, especially at a time when the brands are still debating whether or not to put to a fund to help the victims.

raising 4The Fableists > Are you still accepting donations for the charity auction and event? If so, how can companies get involved?

Rainbow Collective > Yes we are still accepting donations and compaines can get involved by emailing raisingforrana@inbox.com or visit www.raisingforrana.com.

The Fableists > How can the public bid on the items available (including some snappy clothes from The Fableists!) and when will the auction end?

Rainbow Collective > Its very easy to bid on the items. Just visit Raising For Rana website where there is a charity auction link and there are many many items to bid on. The auction will be open till 12pm on the 25th April.

The Fableists > Your goal is to create resource material so that campaigners and educators can access facts, figures as well as images and footage. Tell us why you choose to make all this available for free.

Rainbow Collective > Everything is for free because we want as many people and organisations to watch it and use the resource site. We have great partners including OpenVizor who funded this so we did not see a need to charge anyone to use the resource. The decision to make the film and resource site available for free and for the whole project to be non-profit was made very early. The documentary ‘Tears In The Fabric’ will also be available in multiple languages on its release and again the reason for this is so that it can get the widest audience possible.


Get involved by bidding on items in the charity auction, or making a donation, as all proceeds will go directly to those affected by the Rana Plaza disaster. Visit the film’s page via the Raising for Rana site to find out more about the project.


Time for clothing brands to pay up!

pay up biggerFor Rana Plaza survivors, compensation is long overdue.

Today, Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) alongside workers and trade unions in Bangladesh and around the world launch a major campaign calling on all clothing brands who source from Bangladesh to immediately pay into the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund, which is collecting voluntary donations on behalf of the Rana Plaza Arrangement, and is overseen by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The Pay Up! campaign comes just two months before the first anniversary of the catastrophic collapse of Rana Plaza, which killed 1,138 people and injured over 2,000 more. The campaign aims to ensure that come April 24th the survivors and victims families are not still waiting for compensation.

CCC is calling on major international brands Benetton, KiK and Children’s Place, in particular, who all had orders at one of the five factories in Rana Plaza at the time of the collapse or in the recent past, to make significant contributions in order to ensure payments can begin.

US$40 million is required to ensure all those injured and the families of those killed are fairly compensated for loss of income and medical expenses. The fund is open to all companies, donors and individuals who wish to express their solidarity and compassion.

To date clothing brands El Corte Ingles, Mascot, Mango, Inditex and Loblaw have all publicly committed to the Donor Trust Fund.

“Numerous reports over the past ten months have highlighted the ongoing plight of the victims of Rana Plaza and their families. We therefore welcome these initial contributions.” says Ineke Zeldenrust of the Clean Clothes Campaign. “Compensation efforts to date have been completely haphazard, unequal, unpredictable and non-transparent, and have left large groups of victims with nothing. The Arrangement has set up the entire operational structure, which will put an end to this unpredictability quickly and completely. All that is needed is for companies to pay up. The collapse of Rana Plaza is symptomatic of an industry wide problem, and we encourage the entire industry to make generous contributions.” adds Zeldenrust.

Nearly all the victims of the Rana Plaza collapse were garment workers who had been ordered back into the unsafe building by factory bosses.

Shila Begum a sewing operator in one of the factories who was trapped when the building collapsed described the decision to go in. “No one wanted to enter the building that day … [but] I still went back in. If enough people hit you, you do what they say. You could see the tension in people’s eyes.” Shortly after arriving at her machine the electricity went off and the generator switched on “The floor gave way… my hand got stuck and I thought I would die.”

After being trapped for most of the day under the building Shila was eventually rescued, but her crush injuries were such that she had to have a hysterectomy, and her arm is in constant pain and she is unable to work. The trauma of the day remains with her. “I don’t know if I will ever be able to step into a factory again.”

In Dhaka, garment workers and their unions will be creating a human chain, and holding a press conference demanding the early settlement of the compensation claims. Hameeda Hossein of SNF (the Bangladesh Worker’s Safety Forum) says “After the Rana building collapsed the whole world watched for weeks while the injured and dead were pulled out of the ruins. Now is the time for all of us to act and ensure US$40 million is donated before April 24th”.

The Rana Plaza Arrangement is a groundbreaking collaborative framework to ensure that the losses of the survivors and victims can be paid.

The operational structure has been developed by the former Executive Head of the United Nations Compensation Commission, working with the Bangladesh Ministry of Labour and ILO experts. Some of the most credible labour- and civil society organisations will be involved in the claims processing and post-award services and counselling. Medical assessments will be undertaken by qualified local doctors at the Centre for Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP). A team of independent local and international claims commissioners has been identified to determine the awards. The German development agency GIZ has agreed to undertake the administrative costs of the operation.

Roy Ramesh Chandra, President of the United Federation of Garment Workers & Secretary General of IndustriALL Bangladesh Council (IBC) said ”This is an unprecedented step and allows, brands, the government, the employers organisations and unions to work together to ensure a just outcome for the victims of Rana Plaza.”

Ten months after the worse industrial disaster to hit the garment industry, there can be no further excuses. Brands can show that they can be part of the solution if they pay up now!

You can read more about this campaign here.

Raising for Rana, which is being put on in association with charities Traid and War on Want, will take place on April 24th, the anniversary of the Rana Plaza building collapse. As part of the fundraiser, Raising for Rana are holding a charity auction, which will include some of The Fableists clothing. Please find out more here. 

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Raising for Rana – For the Victims of the Rana Plaza Garment Factory Collapse

raisingforrana bannerThe 24th April 2014 will mark the one year anniversary of the tragic Rana Plaza garments factory collapse near Dhaka, Bangladesh, where over 1,100 people died and over 2,500 more were injured. Most of the people who died were female garment workers. These women were mothers, daughters and wives and the tragedy of their death has left a massive hole in the lives of their families. The majority were mothers and now their children are being raised without them.

This anniversary will be marked in various ways all over the world. Raising For Rana, a not-for-profit initiative has teamed with War on Want, TRAID and the documentary film production company Rainbow Collective CIC to put on a large scale charity fundraising event in London on the day. This will feature the premiere of Rainbow Collective’s brand new not-for-profit documentary film about the aftermath of the disaster and the direct impact it’s had on the families affected. All profits raised from the event will go directly to the families most in need and will make a huge difference to their lives.

Raising for Rana will showcase companies who are producing their goods ethically and there will be some great auctions, raffles and giveaways at the event (line up TBC). The Fableists are donating a selection of our clothing to benefit the cause.

This amazing event is still in the planning stages. Venues, format, catering, schedules and everything else is still being decided. There will be more updates soon, but in the meantime, if your company can help by donating food, drinks, entertainment, décor, rentals, lighting, sound equipment, or anything else required for a large scale event, please get in touch with the organisers via their web site.

Direct donations are also always welcome and they can be made online here.

Follow all the action via Raising for Rana’s twitter feed at @raisingforrana