Cutting our Fashion Footprint

On 29 June I added a comment on our Facebook page about our tendency to buy cheap, throwaway fashion. I’d been thinking about this for a while and having parallel discussions with friends, in various places, especially those with fashion-conscious children who want to stretch their pocket money as far as they can. After all, why buy one ethically-sourced T-shirt, when, for the same money you can buy 10? This is a mind-set we need to change.
Spanish Protest T-Shirts

A big part of tackling the climate crisis is engaging in battles with big industries who put profit before the environment. This is especially evident when it comes to the fashion industry. On the Facebook post, I asked Wouldn’t it be great if we could start a craze of upcycling T-shirts by cutting, painting and other transformations? I don’t know if that’s naive but I’m still trying to work out how to start a craze.

In the meantime, lots of people are responding to the post. They are sharing ideas, links to articles and resources for teachers to use in their classrooms. So we’ve decided to launch a new page today on the blog called Cutting our fashion footprint. This is where we’ll be sharing all things fashion-related that will help us in our cause. Please have a browse and send us suggestions for other things we can add. Please too, tell us about things you do with your classes that other teachers might like to try too.

I’d like to end this post on a note of optimism by highlighting a couple of takeaways from the Facebook thread.

Lots of young people (especially students) are buying clothes in second-hand shops.

There is an increasing number of global movements encouraging ethically-sourced fashion.

Pinterest and Instagram are full of ideas on upcycling old clothes suggesting a lot of interest.

Teachers have reported engagement and interest from students after classes where they learn about the throwaway clothes culture.

More and more people are becoming aware of this issue every day.

Foot(print) note: I’m going to revamp an old T-shirt into a new fashion item this week. I’m also on the look out for an old tie that I’m going to decorate and wear to a conference. Watch this space!

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