The Dutch rail infrastructure operator ProRail, has defended its controversial "fashion line" featuring replicas of torn clothing worn by those killed and injured in railway accidents.
ProRail launched "Victim Fashion" to encourage young people to be safer around railway lines. The number of people killed on and around railways has almost tripled since 2016, with 17 fatalities recorded last year. The "fashion line" features torn jackets, shirts, dresses and other items of clothing and is being promoted under the slogan "Victim Fashion, made by accident".
The pieces are accompanied online by descriptions of what happened to the person wearing them. An image of a scuffed trainer has a caption explaining that a 14-year-old was reaching out for a phone she dropped on the track when a train hit her. Now almost 15, she is still in a coma. An orange dress was worn by a 15-year-old girl who followed her friends across the track while the barriers were closed and didn't see the train coming. And so on..
The "Victim Fashion" brand was hyped by influencers and subsequently launched at a fashion show in Amsterdam in early April.
This campaign causes a lot of discussions and was picked up by the media quickly.