Commitment to Change; Youth Fashion Summit 2017, day 3

On the final day of YFS we presented the final draft of our UN fashion resolution at Copenhagen Fashion Summit

Copenhagen Fashion Summit serves as a platform for all areas of the industry to meet and discuss the ever pressing issue of sustainability in fashion. The event was led by inspirational speakers from leading NGOs such as Green Peace and experts on circularity such as William McDonough, author of Cradle to Cradle and Ellen MacArthur, founder of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The theme of this year was Commitment to Change with a focus on creating ‘common understanding and industry-wide commitment on the most critical issues facing our industry and planet’.

Our resolution addressed each of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 and covered areas including education, well being and civic empowerment as well as circularity, transparency and pollution. Following our presentation (which you can read in full below) Lise Kingo, Executive Director of the United Nations Global Impact invited us to present our resolution at the UN Global Compact Leader Summit in New York during the UN General Assembly. Kingo emphasised the need for a future where “sustainable business is mainstream business” and reminded us of our responsibility as future fashion leaders “to write the playbook for the next steps the industry needs to take today, to create the world for tomorrow”.

It was an honour to present our resolution on stage alongside thought leaders like Lise Kingo, Eileen Fisher and Livia Firth and I hope our resolution will help others in the industry wake-up to the urgent for change. From the all the speakers, the message I took from the summit was the time for action is now.

Read our full resolution below;

1. Expects the fashion industry to begin immediately working with non-profit initiatives and government groups to reduce inequality, alleviate poverty and ensure food security, with progress made by 2030, including through:

(a) helping to reduce inequality by reinvesting 0,7% of annual sales to support local manufacturing communities;

b) providing all workers with access to free health insurance, day care facilities, a meal a day and professional training;

c) suggesting governments and industry leaders enforce sustainable agricultural practices to help ensure food security by increasing the share of organic polyculture farming by 50%;

2. Urges all stakeholders in the fashion industry to establish global and local partnerships to make the world a more equitable, just and peaceful place, by:

(a) requesting all stakeholders to collaborate on breaking existing barriers between people, companies and member states to enable a flow of sustainable progress;

(b) welcoming the UN to develop a full sustainability report by 2020 that provides a holistic evaluation of the fashion industry, measuring performance not only in relation to monetary value;

(c) encouraging the UN to facilitate the implementation of a third-party organ by 2025 to monitor the status of collaboration between stakeholders related to the fashion industry;

(d) insisting that fashion stakeholders fully commit to a standardized performance system, by 2025;

3. Compels relevant stakeholders to strengthen the human bond, from maker to wearer, through education and changing the mindsets of producers and consumers by:

(a) requiring fashion companies to provide on company websites, labels, social media, and in reports transparent information per garment of each step in the whole supply chain by 2030;

(b) demanding manufacturers to empower workers by prioritizing educational activities regarding labor rights, personal financial growth, leadership, and worker representation in 10% collective ownerships;

(c) encouraging the UN to facilitate an interactive platform in at least five languages, bringing people together to take action against inequality by participating in online courses and webinars, involving industry leaders, government, organizations and companies;

4. Requests stakeholders to protect and restore our natural capital by:

(a) implementing ecological systems and recycling technologies throughout the value chain by substituting conventional cotton, reducing landfills, and eliminating textile waste in the fashion sector by 2030;

(b) encouraging fashion companies and manufacturers to immediately commit to water stewardship programs and to disclose personal targets for the same, to protect life below water from microplastic contamination, aiming to eliminate all virgin plastic by 2030;

(c) insisting that brands and governments support manufacturers and producers in eliminating the use of hazardous chemicals and materials, complying with the Greenpeace Detox Campaign to reduce pesticide use by 50% by 2022, achieving total elimination by 2030;

5. Calls on the entire fashion industry and the involved member states to lead the global preservation of and access to freshwater for all by 2025 through intensified research and investment in innovative technologies by:

(a) reducing water pollution and the release of harmful chemicals by 50% in 2025 and by 100% in 2030;

(b) introducing closed-loop water recycling legislation on a government level;

(c) implementing shared value community water management in collaboration with governments, NGOs, industries, and local communities, as well as stressing the urgency and awareness of these issues through education provided by member states and the fashion industry;

6. Obliges stakeholders to meet the requirements of the Paris Agreement, ensuring that, by 2030, 100% of the total energy used in the fashion supply chain will be renewable energy by:

(a) inviting all member states to ensure renewable energy practices by encouraging public and private partnerships throughout the fashion supply chain, reaching a binding commitment agreed upon by 2018;

(b) requesting that all organizations’ energy consumption statistics be published for public access;

(c) requiring the entire fashion supply chain to set in place the necessary infrastructure and encourage innovation to reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency; In commitment to our future,

7. Appeals to all stakeholders to invest in recycling technology and infrastructure with the aim to transition to circular mindsets and systems in fashion production by:

(a) encouraging all member states to adopt already existing technologies to collect and process commercial and industrial textile waste By 2022;

(b) investing in a platform to share information, facilities, and resources to provide guidelines and tools to enable a holistic circular system for all stakeholders in the fashion industry by educating them about circular strategies and solutions by 2020.

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Negotiations; Youth Fashion Summit 2017, Day 2

Meeting with industry stakeholders on the second day of Youth Fashion Summit 2017

On the first day we worked in small groups dedicated to one or more of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 to develop fashion specific targets for positive change.  On day 2 it was time to put those targets to the test with industry stakeholders. Each group met in turn with a representative from the luxury sector, the high-street, government, manufacturing and civil society to negotiate their objectives for the future.

The High-street was represented by Hendrik Alpen, Sustainability Business Expert at H&M.

The Luxury Sector was represented by Dax Lovegrove, Global Vice President of Swarovski and Myriam Coudoux, Head of Communications.

The Government was represented by Lars Mortensen, Head of International Cooperation and Partnerships at the European Environment Agency.

Civil Society was represented by Lu Yen Rololf, Communications Lead for ‘Detox My Fashion‘ Campaign at Green Peace.

As part of Flourishing; The Ecological Agenda team, we requested action in four different areas related to Sustainable Development Goals; 13 Climate Action, 14 Life below water and 15 Life on land.

In regards to land use we urged all sectors to work together in the implementation and upscale of alternative ecological materials in substitution of conventional cotton. We requested that by 2030, conventional cotton must be phased out of supply chains. We urged the industry to reduce landfill reliance and invest in recycling technology. This was well received by Hendrik Alpen from H&M, who felt confident these were an achievable target for the High-street. H&M is already on track to reach their personal target of 100% sustainable cotton use by 2020.

When discussing water usage, Dax Lovegrove from Swarovski suggested fashion companies together with manufacturers commit to water stewardship programmes and disclose personal targets for the responsible water consumption.

In order to preserve marine life and protect the health of our oceans from micro-plastic contamination, we also appealed to fashion brands to take the necessary steps to reduce the use of virgin fuel based products by 2030.

We asked companies and manufacturers to the disclose their chemical reduction targets and to comply to frameworks such as the Greenpeace Detox Campaign with the aim of eliminating the use of hazardous chemicals by 2030. We requested the fashion industry move towards a low carbon business model (following Global Climate Action targets set at COP21) and asked companies to publish science based targets for 2022.

We received valuable feedback from all of the stakeholders which enabled us to refine and develop our initial targets into dynamic and achievable objectives. We spent the afternoon condensing this work into a final resolution to present the next day at Copenhagen Fashion Summit.

Something to take away…

Harvard principles for open and honest negotiation…

People – treat people and problems separately

Interests – put interests at the centre of discussion rather than positions

Options – before deciding on solution develop a range of options

Criteria  – build result on objective decision making principles

 

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Drafting a resolution; Youth Fashion Summit 2017, Day 1

Working together with students from around the world to draft the first UN resolution on sustainable fashion practices.

At Youth Fashion Summit 2016, we explored the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 and developed a manifesto of demands for the industry regarding a range of ethical concerns; from climate action and pollution to gender inequality and over consumption (read our full report here). After the success of last year, the Global Fashion Agenda and Copenhagen School of Design and Technology (KEA) decided to invite the same students back to transform our initial demands into a fully fledged resolution to present at Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2017.

Day 1

Conscious Luxury

Dax Lovegrove, Global Vice President of Corporate and Social Responsibility at Swaroski opened the event with a key note speech on conscious luxury. He spoke about Swaroski’s vision as a driver of positive change to do more than ‘less harm’. We learnt how to identify and discern between the different layers of impact and how to address each area on an individual basis. From ‘Footprint’- the ecological impact of the fashion industry, to ‘Mind print’- the consumer attitude towards sustainable consumption and finally ‘Political Print’ – how government policy can be used to support unity and positive change within the sector.

Ecological Agenda

We then broke off into smaller groups to review our demands from the previous year. We began developing a concrete action plan and set some initial targets to put to our stakeholders.  We used the Pulse of the Fashion Industry Report created by The Global Fashion Agenda and The Boston Consulting Group to find facts that gave weight to our demands. The report draws on Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Higg Index and in-depth surveys of various fashion companies to create a comprehensive guide to the industry’s current environmental and social performance. As part of Flourishing; the ecological agenda team, I worked with Sustainable Development Goals 13,14 & 15 regarding climate action, life below water and life on land.

In the afternoon we worked on a negotiation strategy to use when discussing our demands with industry stakeholders the following day.

Voices from the industry

Scan 4eSusie Lau, fashion blogger and YFS ambassador encouraged us to think about how we can put the knowledge gained from Youth Fashion Summit into practice in our own careers. She emphasised the importance of story telling and making the subject of sustainable fashion more compelling. By referring to ‘alternative’ fashion instead of ‘sustainable’ fashion, Susie suggested we could reach a wider audience by stealth. It is vital mainstream fashion media take greater interest in the subject.

 

Simon Collins, former dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons closed the first day of events with a motivational speech on the role of the designer. Simon explained importance of designers in ‘creating beautiful solutions’ to everyday situations with vision first and strategy second. Simon advised us to focus on creating value rather than profit and to not be afraid of making mistakes.

Something to take away…

The first sentence in our draft resolution;

‘In order for our world to flourish we must protect and restore our natural capital’

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The Remakery Festival May 23rd-28th

A week-long celebration of upcycling and repair in the penultimate week of Edventure Frome’s Start-Up Repair Course

Week 6 to 8 of Edventure’s Repair Course has been spent preparing for The Remakery Festival. The event will engage the local community in fixing, repairing and upcycling all manner of things and aims to generate interest in the future use of the Remakery at the Welsh Mill Hub. Throughout the week we will be hosting all sorts of exciting free making events including; woodwork sessions, a day dedicated to textiles and the art of crochet, a repair cafe and kids music making activities (See full schedule below).

Sunday will be extra special with the official launch of The Remakery. The day will begin at 12:30 with a presentation from the students followed by a healthy lunch from Edgy Veggie, an up-cycled exhibition, live music and a world cafe discussion forum at 2pm. The Remakery workshop will be open for drop in use through-out the day with special events for children.

RemakeryschedulefinalWe hope to see you there!

More information can be found on our facebook page

 

Bringing ideas to Life; Edventure Week 5

Taking action and making decisions in week 5 of Edventure Frome’s Start-Up Repair Course

Getting to work

Equipped with skills we have learnt in the first half of the course, this week we divided into smaller teams and dedicated our time to specific areas. Our roles included; branding and business concept, festival and communications, workshop and planning.

 The Workshop

Harry and Josh made steps towards transforming the workshop into a multi–use space. This involved getting to know the potential and limitations of the physical area and researching what equipment might be needed.
Thomas came to help out and surprised us by bringing us each a candleholder he had made from petrified wood. The candleholders looked great and their simple design made them easy to produce. This inspired me to think of the potential of our project. It would be amazing to see the space being used to make items such as these as way of teaching basic woodwork skills.candles

The Festival

Louis and Allen put their minds to visualising the Repair Festival which is due to launch our project in the last week of May. They led a brainstorming session with the group to find out what we would like to see at the event and reflected on our user research. They also began compiling a list of local people who might be interested in being involved with the set up or running of the festival. If this interests you please get in touch!

 The Business Concept and branding

I worked with Van on defining the direction of our project and came up with some initial brand names. We would love to hear your opinion on our shortlist – please leave a comment below.

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Social Media

Andy Britnell, founder of Seeamanaboutblog came to talk to us about how social media can be used as a tool to grow public interest. We learnt about the various forms of social media from Facebook to GooglePlus and how we can use them to communicate with our target audience. Andy talked through ways of keeping professional and adding value, credibility and visibility to our project online.

Something to take away…

Andy’s check list for successful social media.

  • Content

What information do you want to share with your followers?

  • Platforms

Which platforms are you going to target? Which platforms are most popular with your target audience?

  • Target Market

Who is interested in your project? Who will your ideas affect?

  • Influencers and thought leaders

Who is already working in your area of expertise? What strategies do they use.

  • Supporters 

Who might support your project? Try to get yourself featured in blogs and magazines focused on your area of interest.

  • Media Type

Which form of media will most appeal to your target audience; text, image or video? or all three.

 

Fashion Revolution Week

Thinking about who made my clothes for Fashion Revolution Week.

For most consumers buying clothes is about choice…

 What style suits me best? Which colour do I prefer? What is it made of? Which size is most flattering? How much will it cost?

 We ask ourselves any number of stylistic questions before arriving at a decision. But the question that is so often forgotten is who made it? Most of the time we don’t stop to ask what life is like for the 75 million people in the global apparel market or how much they are paid.

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This matters because as consumers we hold the power. Every purchase we make says something about what we value. Fashion Revolution week is about raising awareness and empowering individuals to change the way fashion works. By asking brands ‘Who made my clothes?’ we are part of a global movement demanding greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. This is an essential step for improving the lives of people across the fashion landscape, from cotton farmers to garment workers.

 What you can do…

  •  Pressure your favourite brands

Hold them to account for the social and environmental impact of their business. Share the label of a piece of clothing on social media and ask the brand #whomademyclothes?

  • Write to a Politician

Let them know the welfare of the planet and the people making your clothes matters to you.

  • Buy better

Choose fair-trade or second-hand where you can – even if this means buying something more expensive less often.

  • Repair, reinvent, revive

Instead of buying new, try updating something you already own.

Find out more here.

Future thinking, Edventure Week 4

A time for reflection and planning in Week 4 of Edventure Frome’s Start-Up Repair Course

Making Space

The week began by clearing the workshop with Thomas. We used the time to organise materials and visualise how the space could look. Our aim is to create a workshop suitable for multiple uses with features for woodwork, crafts and textiles.

A Library of Things

On Wednesday we met with Aliss and Helen from The Share Shop to discuss how our projects can support each other. The Share Shop already runs many interesting events around fixing including regular Saturday morning repair sessions. Find out more here.

 Charting a Course 

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Johannes helped us to form clearer intentions for the remaining weeks using the GROW model. GROW stands for Goal, Reality, Options and Will and is a simple structuring method. By breaking down our task into these four categories we were able identify the necessary next steps and formed a plan of action. We defined our individual roles and began dividing responsibility.

 Finding Answers in Nature

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We took a day out of the office on Thursday to explore our surroundings with Jez and Amelia. Jez encouraged us to appreciate the visible signs of the Spring as we walked while Amelia foraged for interesting plants for us to try. Together we lit a fire and thought about the things we wanted to move on from as we progressed through the course. We ate a feast of toasted bread and wild garlic that we found in abundance along the way.

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Thinking Funding

 On Friday Edventure hosted a talk on Crowdfunding by Andrew Denham; Head Teacher at the Bicycle Academy. Andrew shared his experience of using crowdfunding to raise £40,000 in order to turn the Bicycle Academy into a reality. He kindly explained the basics to us and advised us on the necessary steps to take. Reward based Crowdfunding is a method of raising money for a project through multiple contributions. Usually an entrepreneur or business will post a project they need help funding with a target amount and set deadline for raising the funds. Interested backers are then offered rewards based on the size of their donation as incentive for investment.

Something to Take Away…

 Andrew’s top tips for successful crowdfunding;

  • Tell a compelling story; involve your prospective customer.
  • Do the legwork before you launch; get your message out there, use social media.
  • Hit the ground running; make sure you have built up enough interest in plenty of time.
  • Know your customer, target your publicity to the right people.
  • Be prepared for hard work; make sure you have time to fully engage with the process – before and after.
  • Be open and honest; What can you realistically achieve.
  • Be realistic; make sure you can follow through on rewards.

 

Van’s poem of the week;

Week started slowly we uncluttered the abundance of all things unneeded,

inspiration still unmet,

what is it we work towards,

finalising our places in focusing on the time to come festival and fun after solid working strong,

walking long in wilderness inlooking and expressive,

an experience of overwhelming freedom let loose all stress and pain even if only for a few irreplaceable moments,

contemplative pictures painted do we understand who we are,

real world comes a calling.

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