The Revolution Begins with the Young

by Nikki Mattei 2 years ago
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The lure of the fashion industry

In our consumerist world young people are exposed to the lure of fashion from a very young age.  They are under scrutiny from their peers and nag their parents to provide them with the latest brand of trainers or jeans.  Social media is also adding to that pressure: young people present themselves in posts and want to be seen in different outfits (many young girls won’t be seen in the same outfit twice).  These days young people see themselves in photos hundreds of times a month probably and put themselves forward to be judged by others.

Now it’s true that the clothes we wear should be a reflection of the person we are but young people are being brought up to conform and persuaded by the insidious advertising of the fashion industry to buy something new every week or even every day.  Most young people don’t give a thought to where their clothes were made or by whom.  The connection between the maker and the wearer has entirely disappeared.  Young people just seem to be on a roller coaster of buying more and more stuff and have no specific memories attached to the clothes in their wardrobes.  Very few schools teach sewing so most young people have no idea about the time and effort which goes into making a garment.

But it’s not their fault ……….

These young people are certainly not to blame for this state of affairs.  But they can be instrumental in changing the future of the clothing industry for the better.  Children are naturally curious and if you give them the tools to question the status quo, then amazing, far-reaching change be can achieved.

Children and young people are the key to change

At Fashion Revolution, we strongly believe that young people are the key to changing the state of the fashion industry.  They are the consumers and employees of the future and if they start to ask questions and demand change, then the clothing brands will have to listen.  Fashion Revolution has been embraced in schools and universities all over the world during its three year existence.  We have simply provided some useful educational resources to facilitate this activity.  You can see some of the amazing things which have happened on our Pinterest Education Board

Schools and Universities are taking part across the world

For Fashion Revolution Week 2016 there are some truly inspiring events planned in classrooms and on university campuses in all corners of the globe.  For example, in Italy a school initiative started in Vicenza this month is going to be taking place in schools in other cities over the coming months.  In India there is a network of over 500,000  students called MARD who will be involved in Fashion Revolution Week this year.

For 2016 we have set up a network of Fashion Revolution Student Ambassadors in universities in the 86 countries (and counting!) where Fashion Revolution is represented.  These Student Ambassadors are staging exciting events to shine the spotlight on the lives of garment workers and to encourage other young people to ask #whomademyclothes.  In Brazil, students in over 20 universities will be making upcycled flags.  In Quebec in Canada there will be a panel discussion with four brands to discuss how they make their clothes.  In London, there will be events happening in a number of universities from a drama performance of The True Cost to a SwapShop with Underwear for Calais.  In Dundee in Scotland there will be a Selfie Wall and in many universities across the world there will be screenings of The True Cost documentary. Check out upcoming events in your country on the website

It’s not too late to be part of Fashion Revolution

Although Fashion Revolution Week is from 18-24 April, educators and their students can be involved in the campaign all year round.  The topics explored are highly relevant to so many subjects, from citizenship to geography or economics.  We have prepared a selection of educational resources which are free to download.  All that we ask is that you register with us so that we can keep you updated about our progress.  Just sign up here



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