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British fashion photographer Rankin partners on charity campaign to end global acid violence

Posted on January 22, 2024 - By Rankin
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British fashion photographer Rankin partners on charity campaign to end global acid violence
British fashion photographer Rankin partners on charity campaign to end global acid violence
Renowned British fashion photographer, Rankin, has partnered with Acid Survivors Trust International (ASTi) on a brand new campaign that aims to prevent acid attacks. He has created a Look Book – an essential fashion industry guide to latest styles and fabrics – using acid attack survivor Patricia Lefranc as his model.

The Tear Couture Look Book aims to highlight the devastating effects of acid attacks, and in particular the specific link to the fashion, textiles, retail and manufacturing industries. It raises awareness of the issues associated with acid attacks in a format that is familiar to those industries.

With a foreword by the charity’s Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, the Look Book tells Patricia Lefranc’s personal story through moving and hard-hitting messages, illustrated by portraits of Patricia by Rankin.

Research (*) suggests a correlation between legitimate business uses of acid and the incidence of acid attacks in parts of the global south. This was especially noticeable in areas with industries including fashion and textile that require sulphuric acid in large quantities.

With this campaign, ASTi aims to engage industry partners to strengthen processes for a more responsible supply chain.

Rankin commented: ''I have a special affinity with the fashion industry and I’ve been delighted to see the changes that have taken place within the industry in recent years to make it more sustainable and responsible. When ASTi explained to me the issue of acid misuse within supply chains, I knew I had to take action.''

Patricia Lefranc added: ''Many people are unaware of the enormous pain and suffering that acid attack survivors go through. I’m so grateful to Rankin for this opportunity to raise awareness of our situation, and to take steps together to prevent further attacks.''

Jaf Shah, Executive Director of ASTi, said: ''Industry has a key role to play in stopping incidences of acid attacks. We’re so grateful to all those helping to bring this issue into the spotlight; HRH Princess Anne for writing the foreword to the Look Book and, of course, Patricia and Rankin. With their support we aim to partner with businesses and make the changes needed to achieve this goal together.''

Phil Patterson, Chair of the ZDHC MRSL Council and Wastewater Council, added his perspective: ''Corrosive substances are routinely used in the dyeing, printing and finishing in fashion industry. There is a significant opportunity to improve how they are transported, stored, dispensed and handled within factories to both reduce the risk of injury to workers and to reduce access to those substances that could be used in premeditated acid attacks.''


Rankin

Rankin-Asti Tear Patricia Lefranc Couture courtesy of McCann Health, London © Rankin


About Tear Couture
The Tear Couture Look Book has been created with McCann Health London, an IPG Health company. It is a continuation of the agency’s Tear Couture campaign which launched an ASTI report at St. James’ Palace in March 2022 in the presence of HRH Princess Anne. In partnership with Thomson Reuters Foundation, Trustlaw and international law firm Covington, ASTi’s report on supply chain considerations for dangerous corrosives, such as acids, contains a toolkit with five key recommendations for corporates.

Maurice Mikkers’ photography of microscopic tears - which also features in the Look Book - was turned into an immersive VR experience where the user journeys through a 3D tear landscape while listening to survivors’ testimonials and a specially composed track by Nitin Sawhney.


The Tear Couture Look Book

Acid Survivor’s Trust International - ASTI
ASTI is a UK registered not-for-profit charity and the only international organisation whose sole purpose is to end acid violence at a global level. It has partnered with and received grants from the United Nations, the British Government and numerous foundations on delivering medical, legal, awareness raising, advocacy, rehabilitation and livelihood projects in multiple countries including India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Uganda and Cambodia. ASTI was awarded an Impact Award in 2019 by the Thomson Reuters Foundation for its work on changing UK law.

Supporting Stats
• The total cost of reported acid attacks to UK society over the past five years exceeds £200 million. However, the actual figure of attacks (and therefore associated costs) is higher than that as not all police forces respond to FOI requests.

• ASTI estimates that the number of global attacks exceed 10,000 each year. But this is a very conservative estimate as governments in many countries do not maintain official records of acid attacks.


Rankin

Rankin-Asti Tear Patricia Lefranc Couture courtesy of McCann Health, London © Rankin



Rankin

Rankin-Asti Tear Patricia Lefranc Couture courtesy of McCann Health, London © Rankin


Link between business use of corrosives and attacks
- A report on acid violence by the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, Cornell Law School and the Virtue Foundation states:

''Evidence suggests a correlation between legitimate business uses of acid and the incidence of acid attacks. In Bangladesh, for example, the incidence of acid violence is highest in districts where the acid-using garment and jewellery industries are prevalent.''br>
''Similarly, in Pakistan, acid attacks occur at high rates along the “Cotton Belt” of Pakistan, that is, in Southern Punjab and Upper Sindh (central area), where the cotton and garment industries are concentrated and acid is used in production. Indeed, acid attackers perpetrated 77% of all reported attacks in Pakistan’s “core” cotton zone areas of the Punjab region.''

- From Ellen MacArthur Foundation, A new textiles economy: Redesigning fashion’s future, (2017) .

''Today’s textiles system also has multiple negative societal impacts. Many workers face dangerous working environments due to unsafe processes and the hazardous substances used in production. '' P21

''Chemicals used in the production processes for fibres and textiles, such as dyes or finishing treatments, also account for a significant amount of resource use – around 43 million tonnes in total.''

The BBC use the above figure and say that 43 million tonnes is per year.

- From The Pulse of the Fashion Industry 2017 by Global Fashion Agenda and The Boston Consulting Group.

''The use of chemicals is one of the areas with the lowest transparency throughout the value chain. particularly in processing. The lack of transparency hinders compliance and leads to the exposure of workers to hazardous chemicals.''

Directly implementable solutions: reduce toxic fertilizer and chemicals in raw materials stage and improve chemicals management in processing.

- From The State of Fashion 2023 report by Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Co

''79% of fashion executives consider the lack of standards to assess sustainability performance as the greatest hurdle to improving how consumers perceive their sustainability efforts.”“A quarter of consumers in the UK said their purchase decisions were driven by sustainability, reflecting a broader pattern across geographies, and elevating the importance of sustainability marketing for brands.''

''A quarter of respondents to a 2021 survey by McKinsey in the UK said their purchase decisions were driven by sustainability, 278 while 80 percent of consumers in a US survey said sustainability was an important factor when selecting a fashion brand to shop from.''


(*)Acid Violence, Fostering effective implementation of pro-women and girls laws, a report by Acid Survivors Foundation Pakistan, Australian Aid and National Commission on the Status of Women.
Combating acid violence in Bangladesh, India and Cambodia, a report by the Avon Global Center for Women & Justice and International Human Rights Clinic at Cornell Law School, New York City Bar Association and the Virtue Foundation.

Rankin

Rankin-Asti Tear Patricia Lefranc Couture courtesy of McCann Health, London © Rankin



Rankin

Rankin-Asti Tear Patricia Lefranc Couture courtesy of McCann Health, London © Rankin



Rankin

Rankin-Asti Tear Patricia Lefranc Couture courtesy of McCann Health, London © Rankin


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