Student Ambassador Spotlight
Among Fashion Revolution’s passionate and global network of volunteers, exists a network of brilliant students that champion the movement within their educational institutions.
This year, we saw hundreds of events and initiatives ignited by student ambassadors during Fashion Revolution Week. Nayanika Bharadwaj, who is currently studying at the London College of Fashion, said of Fashion Revolution’s presence at her uni, “It’s definitely been one of the biggest influential voices out there that has informed student’s opinions and their methods of working, in a way that can’t be ignored.”
For many young people, both in and outside of the fashion industry, education is the time for reflection, questioning, and unbridled creativity. It’s often during college or university years that students are given the space to question business-as-usual.
But how can this questioning translate into a career that makes a positive impact? Nayanika says, “It’s wonderful that there is a rise in sustainability-driven careers in fashion, but it’s equally important that students are equipped with the right knowledge and drive to do things differently, when they enter the industry in more conventional jobs and are willing to create change from within… Sustainability, at the end of the day, shouldn’t be a differentiator, it really should be the natural way of working and functioning in the industry”
Read on for our highlights from student ambassadors around the world. And, if you’re a student who wants to bring Fashion Revolution to your school, click here.
Norway – NBMU (Norwegian University of Life Sciences): Laila Pellennec
I got to know about Fashion Revolution from the brand Halla x Halla during Fashion Revolution Week a couple of years ago, and immediately wanted to be a part of it. It was not until starting university in Norway last fall that I got the platform and confidence to start something on my own. Students are very active in different organisations within my university, so I saw my chance and got a bunch of friends to join me as student ambassadors.
For me, the highlight of the week was to see friends being empowered and gaining confidence by turning their visions into beautiful events, including a documentary screening, a market that featured swapping and repair stations and a public demonstration. We truly inspired people to take initiative to organize and be involved.
Argentina – UPC (Universidad Provincial de Córdoba): Sofia García Gonzalez & Yamila Camurri
‘Conscious Fashion Córdoba’ was organised by the students of Universidad Provincial de Cordoba and Fashion Revolution Argentina.
We had talks and workshops explaining the work of the different NGOs, movements, Professionals and brands around sustainability and fashion issues, two performances and two flash mobs in the street, two Clothing swaps, a repair workshop and a screening of the documentary The True Cost.
Each event was a call to action to create awareness around the themes that Fashion Revolution it’s working this year: connecting social impact with environmental impact and gender equality. Fair and decent work, environmental protection and gender equality.
Photography by: Diego Ayala, Martino Dominguez and Ezequiel Pedano
Slovakia – SOŠMIŠ (The Secondary School of Mass Media and Information Studies in Bratislava): Student Group Young + Eco
The highlight of Fashion Revolution Week in Slovakia was a fashion show presenting the models of middle school students involved in educational projects organised by Fashion Revolution Slovakia and student group (NGO) Young & Eco. During this project, students were educated about current topics of within the fashion industry and possible solutions to environmental and social issues raising from them. They were taught basic skills of remaking clothes, and with local designers they got an insight into upcycling and fashion design. Their own designs were then presented on 25 April 2019 in a public fashion show, which they helped to organise with Fashion Revolution Slovakia.
The aim of this pilot project was to bring information and basic skills to students and allow them to design, make and present their own clothing.
Wales – USW (University of South Wales): Natasha Simpson
Our event was created to grab attention. Whilst on the streets of Cardiff, we saw many people gather around our #WhoMadeMyClothes sign to take pictures. Having created a giant t-shirt out of leftover jersey material from the University, students took to Cardiff city centre and posed for photos outside various shops including those that were associated with the Rana Plaza collapse.
The aim of this event was to make the public think about how they purchase clothes and to think about how to be more conscious of what brands they buy for. Overall this event was created to make other people think about their lifestyles and also ask the questions of who makes our clothes.
The staff at the University were extremely supportive and ensure to inform upcoming fashion designers every year of the Rana Plaza collapse and make sure students going into the fashion industry reflect upon how they can help encourage and create a more sustainable fashion industry moving forward.
England – UCA (University for Creative Arts): Connor O’Brien
I organised a photobooth style event to engage students with the #WhoMadeMyClothes Campaign. I wanted to set up an event that was fun and exciting. As a student, I know that some people can be shy to approach events within the university, especially if they do not know the person running the event, therefore, I made it as group-friendly as possible.
Participants were encouraged to hold up various signs that encompassed Fashion Revolution branding and content and other graphics related to fashion production such as sewing machines, buttons, factory etc. Some of these signs included infographics and symbols that highlighted some astonishing facts about the fashion industry which a majority of people were unfamiliar with. This was a great opportunity to educate people on shocking statistics that provoke thought.
Overall, the photo booth was a great success and I exceeded the number of people I wanted to capture. It was wonderful to see so many people get involved and want to find out more about where their clothes were made and by who.
England – UAL (University of the Arts London): Nayanika Bharadwaj, Maria Teresa Flores Parra, Hannah Lyons-Tsai, and Elizabeth Harper.
We organised and conducted 3 events across UAL colleges: the London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins, open to all UAL students and staff through the week, including:
- An open-pitching event for students, for sustainability focused business ideas, at LCF. This was organised with Deborah Mello, Postgraduate Community Ambassador, and included a panel with Olivia Lara and Julie Chaussende, founders of JOA, Charlotte Bingham-Wallis- from Belo Bags and Rachel K of Style Yourself Sustainable.
- A film screening of the documentary, ‘The Price of Free’, at CSM, that takes a look at Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi’s efforts to free every child forced into slave labour partly due to rising demand globally for cheap goods.
- A clothes swap at CSM.
Thanks to all the students that participated in Fashion Revolution Week 2019. If you want to learn more about the issues we tackle at Fashion Revolution, sign up for our free online course, and learn about the fashion industry’s impact on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.