Where did you get those jeans? Be Curious. Find Out. Do Something.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 17.03.09Last year, Ian became the Education lead for Fashion Revolution Day. He has been working with Nikki Mattei to produce FRD education materials for Primary and Secondary schools, Further Education colleges and Universities in time for the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza factory collapse on 24 April. These will be published later this month but, as a taster, he has written a blog post on FRD’s approach to education on the European Year for Development’s website. Its starts:

In the summer of 2011, we asked people visiting the Eden Project in Cornwall, England to write postcards. The architecture of its biodomes, the placement of plants within them, and the signs and activities explaining their cultivation and use are designed to educate visitors about the plants from which many everyday things are made. We stopped passers-by to ask if they had anything on them that was made from the plants they’d seen. Typically, people would mention their clothes or shoes. So we asked them to imagine someone whose job it had been to pick their cotton or tap their rubber. What they would say to that person if they had the chance? We asked them to write this down on a postcard. Almost everyone wrote ‘thank you’ notes. It’s surprising how many people say that they’ve never thought about this before. But, for some, writing a postcard can be a tipping point, the beginning of a process in which curiosity leads to research, which leads to action. Click for more

Fashion Revolution’s question to brands this year is ‘Who made my clothes?’ We’re involved in Fashion Revolution Day because our website’s fashion department brings together and researches books, documentary films, activism and other public work that asks this exact question.  We’re trying to lend our research expertise to the movement, but there are plenty of other examples that we haven’t’ yet researched. This one, a discussion at the V&A about a pair of Primark cargo pants that had been added to the Museum’s Rapid Response Collecting is a great example. What can we learn about the fashion industry and its need to change from a museum curator, a journalist, an ethical fashion pioneer, a representative of the Ethical Trade Initiative and a representative from a global union discussing a pair of trousers? Watch this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNMpeGxST_I Please check back for more Fashion Revolution Day updates, and get involved.

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