Day 23

Fashion

TODAY’S PARTNERS

PGC Notes: As a reminder, you must follow all submission instructions in order to be considered for a daily prize. This means including your name, username, email address, and school in every submission. Please be sure to fully read the instructions for each challenge!  Thanks. 

OVERVIEW

Take two very simple actions that we perform every single day: getting dressed and eating. Now start a journey backwards – to where your food and your clothes come from. At the other end, you will rarely find happy people, treated with dignity and respect. Human beings working at the bottom of any supply chain – whether it is strawberry picking, prawn fishing, cotton farming, garment workers – are often treated like slaves, without reference to our common humanity.  So “fashion” – i.e. what we wear every single day, has huge relevance and huge consequences on human, social and environmental capital.”  ~ Livia Firth, Creative Director of Eco Age, Founder of Green Carpet Challenge, and Executive Producer of The True Cost

Take a moment to consider what you’re wearing today. Do you remember where or when you bought your cozy hoodie, favorite jeans, go-to t-shirt, or other wardrobe staples?

Now, instead of just considering what you’re wearing, think about who you’re wearing. Think about the hands that made your clothes. Who picked the cotton for your t-shirt, sewed your hoodie or dyed your jeans?

We live in a world of fast fashion where companies churn out high volumes of low-priced clothing at the expense of workers and the environment. In the world’s least developed countries, an estimated 40 million people sew more than 1.5 billion garments in 250,000 factories and sweatshops each year. In many cases, these workers are not provided with basic workers rights; fair wages and ethical working conditions. Companies like Zara and Forever 21 process 1 million garments per day. Imagine the resources – both human and otherwise – required for such operations.

When it comes to what you are wearing, it’s not just about your clothes, but the materials and chemicals used to make them. Cotton, one of the fashion industry’s most used materials, is among the most pesticide-intensive crops on the planet. Conventional cotton uses about 16% of the world’s insecticides and 7% of pesticides. It’s estimated that one pound of cotton requires at least one-third of a pound (136 grams) of pesticides.

To put this into perspective, it takes half a pound (227 grams) of cotton to make your average t-shirt. Plus, cotton requires more water than most other crops – to produce one pair of jeans is 1,800 gallons of water. The $3 trillion fashion industry is the second most polluting industry, just behind oil. According to the Responsibility in Fashion website, “the most destructive effects of the global fashion industry result from pesticide overuse in cotton production, dumping of hazardous chemicals used in leather tanning, water pollution and emissions from textile dyeing and finishing, toxic chemicals used in dry cleaning & widespread exploitation of workers.”   

The good news is that consumers (us!) can shop responsibly and there are many businesses working to change these outcomes through deep commitment and innovation. Businesses like Patagonia is committed to “building the best product, causing no unnecessary harm, and using business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis”. Non-profits like today’s partners, Fibershed are developing regional fiber systems that build soil & protect the health of our biosphere. Green America is working to help steer your clothing dollars toward companies with fair labor practices, avoid some of the worst sweatshop-labor -using companies, and help create a system that respects workers’ rights and many others along with Fair Trade USA. Businesses like Eileen Fisher, Indigenous, Reformation, Nau and others prioritize human rights, worker rights and ethical supply chains as guiding principles of their work.  While apps like Good On You assess and rate the ethical standards of clothing/accessory brands based on the brand’s impact on people, place, and animals. Transparency is furthered between consumers and producers underscoring the message to buy from responsible brands.

And just as important as it to buy sustainable new clothes, ethical fashion is also about getting the most out of what you already own. Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia poses this question at the start of the Stories We Wear film, “Why buy two pieces of gear when one will do the work of both?”

It’s up to you to drive the demand for ethical fashion; shopping secondhand, upcycling, trading clothes or investing a little more in the goods that you buy to support responsible fashion, people and planet. You, the consumer can push the market toward transparent, organic, and fair trade clothing.

CHALLENGE

Green

20 POINTS

Think

“Everything we personally own that’s made, sold, shipped, stored, cleaned, and ultimately thrown away does some environmental harm every step of the way, harm that we’re either directly responsible for or is done on our behalf.”  ― Yvon Chouinard, Founder, Patagonia

The average American throws away almost 10 pounds of clothing each year. But there are many ways you can keep clothing out of landfills like swapping, buying used, repairing, or upcycling.   

Challenge

  • Here are a few resources to help you understand the impact of this industry the 3 trillion dollar fashion industry is the second most polluting industry on our planet, just behind oil. Watch today’s video, the trailer for True Cost here, a film made by Patagonia here,  and this infographic.
  • With all of this information, top of mind, write your definition of fast fashion (max 50 words)
  • Assess your role in the fashion industry.
    • What brands do you currently buy? (Check your labels.)
    • Where do you shop? (3 retail or online-stores)
    • Are you contributing to fast fashion? Tell us how or how not. (Don’t worry – you have to acknowledge something before you can fix it). (max 100 words)
  • What are three things that you could do differently in curating your wardrobe?

Deliverables

Upload a PDF document with your responses. Please include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
  • Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
  • Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_green_2018.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Please be sure to include all content for your submission in one doc
  • Do not upload a file bigger than 5 MB
  • You will get a confirmation on screen that your submission uploaded correctly (green) or that it failed (red) and to try again.
  • If your total points do not change, your submission did not load correctly and you will have to try again. You can see your points total by logging out and back in again.
  • If you are having trouble uploading, try using a different browser
  • Send any questions you have to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and #PGC2018.

Greener

40 POINTS

Think

Does your favorite shirt have a label that says, “made with 100% pesticide-sprayed cotton, chemical dyes, and/or sweatshop labor?” Doubtful! How can consumers really know what goes into making that favorite t-shirt? Knowledge is power, so we want you to be curious!

Challenge

  • First, watch this video
  • Then look at this resource  
  • Next, check the tag inside your favorite t-shirt. What kind of information does it provide (aside from cleaning instructions)?
    • Record the brand name, materials used, and where it was produced.
    • Research the impact this item may have had on the people who produced it and the environment. Write down what you find. (max 100 words)
  • Be bold and wear your shirt inside out for the day to give the small-tag details the attention they deserve.
    • Whenever anyone tells you that your shirt is inside out, tell them that you’re involved in PGC and start up a conversation with the information you have learned about the fashion industry.
    • Was anyone surprised to hear why you were wearing your shirt inside out? What were their reactions? What information did you share with them?Now that you are beginning to understand the impact of conventional cotton, fabric dyes and other chemical-laden practices, let’s look more closely at your favorite shirt.
  • Post a great picture of yourself on a social media platform of your choice wearing your inside-out shirt. Caption the photo with the tag details, its impact on workers and planet, and why you chose to wear your shirt inside out. Use the hashtags #PGC2018, and #whomademyclothes and tag @TurningGreenOrg  @TrueCostMovie @GreenAmerica and @Fibershed

Deliverables

Upload a PDF document with your responses. Include a screenshot of your social media post. Please include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
  • Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
  • Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greener_2018.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Please be sure to include all content for your submission in one doc
  • Do not upload a file bigger than 5 MB
  • You will get a confirmation on screen that your submission uploaded correctly (green) or that it failed (red) and to try again.
  • If your total points do not change, your submission did not load correctly and you will have to try again. You can see your points total by logging out and back in again.
  • If you are having trouble uploading, try using a different browser
  • Send any questions you have to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and #PGC2018.

Greenest

60 POINTS

Think

Film is a powerful tool for getting information in the public debate – and one documentary, The True Cost, allows its audience to truly grasp the fashion industry’s toll on people and the planet.

Challenge

  • Gather a few friends or family members and watch the eye-opening 90 minute documentary, The True Cost, on Netflix (or other outlets).
  • Following the screening, host a Q&A with your friends. Gauge their reaction to the film by asking them the following questions (or some of your own):
    • What did you take away from this film? Can you sum up your reaction in three words?
    • What changes will you make when you go shopping in the future?
    • What will you do to spread the message about the impacts of fast fashion to friends and family?
    • What did you take away from this film?
  • Summarize your friends’ comments as well as answer the discussion questions yourself in a paragraph or two.

Deliverables

Upload a PDF document with your responses. Please include your name (or team name), username, email address, and school.

Submission Guidelines

  • If you do not see an upload button, you need to log in
  • Please submit all entries as PDFs – no word or pages docs.
  • Please save filenames using the following format: firstname_lastname_challengeday_challengelevel_year.pdf (ex: kasie_shils_day1_greenest_2018.pdf)
  • Do not include # or spaces in filenames
  • Please be sure to include all content for your submission in one doc
  • Do not upload a file bigger than 5 MB
  • You will get a confirmation on screen that your submission uploaded correctly (green) or that it failed (red) and to try again.
  • If your total points do not change, your submission did not load correctly and you will have to try again. You can see your points total by logging out and back in again.
  • If you are having trouble uploading, try using a different browser
  • Send any questions you have to info@turninggreen.org
  • Don’t forget to post about the challenge and your learnings/doings on social media and tag us on Facebook @TurningGreen, on Twitter @TurningGreenOrg, and on Instagram @TurningGreenOrg and #PGC2018.

TODAY’S PRIZES

up to 10 winners from the greener challenge will receive:

Everyone:
Hae Now Organic Cotton T-Shirt
Onno Hemp T-Shirt
Fluf Zip Pouch
Moso Natural Moso Bag for Shoes

Girls:
Boody Eco Wear Organic Cotton Hipster Bikini
Boody Eco Wear Organic Cotton Shaper Bra
Raw Elements Tinted Facial Moisturizer
Zuii Lip Tint

Boys:
Boody Eco Wear Organic Cotton Boxer Briefs
Tin Lid Hat Company Organic Cotton Recycled Hat
Badger Balm Organic Sunscreen

up to 10 winners from the greenest challenge will receive:

Everyone:
Harvest + Mill Organic Cotton T-Shirt
Farm Fresh Clothing Organic Cotton T-Shirt
Datsusara Hemp Tote Bag
Acure Blue Tansy Oil
Flip Flops

Girls:
Boody Eco Wear Organic Cotton Leggings
Vapour Beauty Eye Color
Vapour Beauty Foundation

Boys:
Tin Lid Hat Company Organic Cotton Recycled Hat
Datsusara Hemp Wallet
Tame the Beast Beard Oil