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    ReFashion - Changing the future way of fashion is designed.

    by Pratiksha Rathi 07/02/2019 05:34 AM BST

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          Changing the future way of fashion is designed.

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          A six-week educational program that makes students aware of fast fashion waste and inspire young fashion students to develop sustainable design practices.

          Context to the disposing culture

          With the growing trend of fast fashion, people in the U.S. buy clothing for every occasion, as fashion has become cheap and easily disposable. Collectively people discard clothing 10.5 million tons annually that equal to the weight of three Empire State buildings. Most of the clothing is shipped to underdeveloped or developed countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya, Pakistan, India, and sold in their markets. But because of cold climatic condition in the U.S. and comparatively warmer there in the developing nations, most of the clothing is not sold and end up into the landfill.

          Upstream issue through my research

          My research question was, why do people buy so much fast fashion? And one answer I could get was because it is available in the market. So, this guided my research on why clothing is manufactured or designed in such a way that they cannot decompose. As a designer can decide the lifecycle of a product or any garment. And through my research, I learned that 51,000 students graduate from fashion colleges, and only three colleges have full-time sustainability fashion design program. This certainly means most of the young designers do not have adequate knowledge of sustainable fashion.


          Having worked with high school teens and through my research learned that if there is an exposure of introduction to any problem teenage kids in their teenage, they try to reduce the problem and also influence their family members to help solve the issue collectively.

          So, I set out to design a program for high school teenagers that makes them aware of fast fashion and teaches them about fashion sustainability even before they join colleges. I tested this curriculum at Storm King School and Beacon High School in upstate, New York.

          After the six weeks’ curriculum, Gloria, one of the participants, said, "Many fashion design students don't realize the importance of creating sustainable fashion. They are just in it for the creativity and designing. They aren't aware of all the negative impacts this industry can have on the environment. We hope to help change that in the future"

          I piloted the program at Storm King School.

          More students wanted to participate in the program, but six weeks was a long commitment, and students are busy. I wanted to make this program approachable to as many students as I could so as an extension of reFashion I created reFashion pop-up school.

          reFashion pop-up school is an experiential social space to help students become aware of fast fashion waste and to repurpose and create clothing through fashion waste in a couple of hours.

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