All images courtesy of Michael Wittig Berlin
BERLIN – January 17, 2023 – A surprise announcement from „adidas“ early Monday morning promised to flip the script on power in the garment industry. The revolutionary plans included appointing a Cambodian garment worker to be Co-CEO, signing a new legally-binding agreement on working conditions, establishing a severance guarantee fund, and paying money owed to workers.
By evening, it exploded into the fashion world with an outrageous Berlin Fashion Week debut of „suffering-forward“ REALITYWEAR, at PLATTE Berlin. But what appeared to be adidas finally taking responsibility for decades of labor violations turned out to be an elaborate hoax by Berlin designers Threads and Tits, The Yes Men, and the Clean Clothes Campaign.
The real adidas denied it was behind the launch, but there was no way to stop the live product launch Monday evening at PLATTE, during the kickoff of Berlin Fashion Week. An appreciative crowd, many of whom thought it was a real adidas debut, were left slack-jawed by the tasteless REALITYWEAR runway show–a gruesome spectacle of torn plastic, ripped nylon, and limping catwalk models smeared in filth–designed by the Berlin-based fashion designers Threads and Tits.
„The Yes Men have presented an alternative future, one where adidas takes ethical conduct seriously enough to invest in it financially. We call on Bjørn Gulden to make this vision a reality by signing the Pay Your Workers agreement. Words are not enough, workers need real action now,“ said Ineke Zeldenrust of Clean Clothes Campaign.
Tell adidas to sign the Pay Your Workers agreement by adding your name to this petition.