I have such a love-hate relationship with social media. While it overwhelms me sometimes, it is an excellent resource for sustainability. One account I follow is the Fashion Revolution. It is an international organization based out of London. The organization is an educational resource used to shed light on the value chain in the fashion industry. Their mission is to connect consumers to producers of raw materials and emphasize that the clothes we put on our backs have a story. And this month they are offering a free course on sustainability.
I saw about a month ago that the Fashion Revolution was offering a free online course on Future Learn called Who Made My Clothes during July. Immediately I signed up. The class was split into three weeks and was in collaboration with the University of Exeter with Ian Cook as the head professor leading this course.
Each week had three separate themes. The first “Be Curious” starting easing the student into thinking about how many people, places, and resources were used to creating a single garment. The second week “Find Out” involved working on a project diving into a particular article of clothing and working as a detective to uncover where it was made, who made it and how ethically it was produced. The third week “Do Something” discusses solutions to who is responsible for the lives of workers and how to make improvements. There is also a Fashion Pledge that you can sign to promise to be part of the movement.
The course featured videos, articles, creative projects, Q&A and discussion boards. I particularly loved some of the featured videos especially an NPR video Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt. The discussion boards were also collaborative, insightful and helpful. I loved seeing how many people around the world were equally as passionate and curious about sustainability as I am.
Overall I thought the course was a great experience. If you are new to sustainability, this is a great way to get started as it can appear to be a daunting process. I also learned a lot about myself and where I fit in this industry. The second week we were doing a lot of sourcing and researching. As I moved through the steps looking at an old H&M top I own, I was overwhelmed with the process and frustrated. Researching to find out exactly where the cotton was produced for my t-shirt and of the specific factory “Made in China” is referring to is honestly not a process I enjoy. I want to shop responsibly, but I am not interested in spending hours doing the research myself every time I need to purchase a t-shirt. I am grateful for online resources such as the Fashion Revolution’s Fashion Transparency Index, Good On You App, and other sustainability bloggers that are much better than I am.
The course is available until the 29th. It’s not too late if you are still interested and it shouldn’t take you too long. If you can’t, make it this year this is the second year they have offered a course like this. I will keep my eye out for it next year to share with you all. 🙂