Are Your Clothes to Die For?

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In the photo, models who have died between 2001-2012, either from an eating disorder, a drug overdose or suicide. (photo via rqasf)

When Ana Carolina Reston arrived for her first foreign fashion shoot, the 8st model was warned she was too fat. Two years later, and two stone lighter, she died at 21 years old, from complications arising from anorexia.  She was six stone.

Vlada Dzyuba, 14, attracted worldwide headlines after her sudden death in China
Case was seen as symbolising exploitation of young models by fashion industry

Bethaney Wallace 18, never believed she was attractive enough for the modelling world she developed anorexia and bulimia at the age of 16 and the illnesses left her too tired to work. The model died in her sleep at her grandmother's house of suspected heart failure.

The Ramos sisters, Eliana Ramos was found dead in her bedroom, she had only eaten lettuce leaves for three months. Her sister Luisel, suffered a fatal heart attack from  malnutrition while leaving the catwalk.

All these models have died of anorexia, drug overdose or suicide. None of them were older that 26 years old. There are many more models who have died for the industry to sell us clothes.The question is, do we want models to die for their profession, or do we want models to thrive and be good role models, setting good examples of health, wellbeing, respect, diversity and sustainability.  Issues with which we all need to feel are a human right.
If you believe in protecting young people from abuse, if you believe that eating disorders should not be part of an industry, if you believe that you wish to see healthy, respected and positively functioning human beings selling you clothes, please sign our manifesto.

A Global Standard for the ethical treatment of models.

The Manifesto:

1.1 An independent health check for each model once a year which will include a blood test.

1.2 The brands commit to ban size 32 for women and size 42 for men (French measurement) from their casting requirements, and will thereby require casting agencies to present women and men models who are respectively size 34 or over, and 44 or over.

1.3 The emotional well being of any model at any time must be taken into consideration throughout their career

2.1 Models must agree in advance to any appearance of nudity or semi-nudity.

2.2 In case of nudity or semi-nudity during a shooting or whilst getting dressed after or before a show, the model will never be alone with a person linked to the production  or a photographer.

2.3 Models must have access to a dedicated model zone/private space during shootings or fashion shows, especially when they are held outside, in order to allow them to change in a dignified manner (out of sight of people who do not belong to the production or to the brand). The brands may provide bathrobes in order to preserve privacy, as far as possible, before and after wardrobe changes.

2.4 A comfortable temperature should be maintained to safeguard the model’s health in the case of nudity or semi-nudity.

3.1 Models must have access to food and drinks that comply with dietary requirements.

3.2 The agency shall provide models with useful information to maintain a healthy diet throughout the working day.

3.3 Alcoholic beverages and drugs are prohibited in the workplace at all times.

4.1 The brands must require the agencies to provide models with a level of accommodation that ensures her/his well-being and safety.

4.2 After 8pm, brands must provide transportation for models to return to their place of residence

5.1 The model’s hours must be monitored and comply with local law.

5.2 Agencies and brands must coordinate to ensure legal requirements, with regards to time-off, are met.

5.3 Specific negotiations must be carried out with the agencies if the “call time” exceeds 4 hours before the show.

5.4 Models must be paid within 3 weeks of their working day to ensure there is no debt bondage and to comply with modern slavery legislation.

6.1 The brands must not hire models under the age of 18  to participate in shows and shootings representing an adult.

6.2 Models between 16 and 18 years old are not allowed to work between 10 pm and 7 am.

6.3 Nudity or semi-nudity for models under 18 is only allowed through an agreement signed by both the model and her/his legal representative.

6.4 The presence of a chaperone/guardian appointed by their agencies, and who can also be one of the model’s parents, is mandatory for models from 16 to 18 years of age.

6.5 Any model under the age of 18 must be housed in the same accommodation as her/his chaperone/guardian.

6.6 The brands must require agencies to ensure that models meet their school attendance obligations.

6.7 Alcohol shall not be served to models under the age of 18.

7.1 From the first selection interview to the last performance, the model must have the possibility of making a direct complaint in the case of a dispute with a modelling agency, a casting director or a brand employee (e.g. through the setting up of a hotline or the nomination of a brand representative).

7.2 The presence of at least one representative of the brand during in-house castings is compulsory.

7.3 The Group/the brand may also carry out unannounced inspections and audits during fashion shows, shootings or recruitment interviews to ensure compliance with this charter.

Sign the Manifesto and suggest changes you would like to see in the modelling industry.

For more information please visit The Responsible Trust for Models