Brand New 2 U
Brand New 2 U
Coláiste Bride, Clondalkin, Co. Dublin.
The Social Issue:
This project was inspired by the Rana Plaza Disaster of 2013, when a factory building in Bangladesh collapsed killing over 1,000 people, most of whom were low-paid garment workers. The disaster cast a light on the poor working conditions of many of those involved in the fashion industry globally. This project team’s focus was on raising awareness around sustainable and ethical fashion and educating their peer group on the impact that fast fashion has on both people and the planet.
The goal of the project was to change mindsets and consumer behaviours amongst teenagers by raising awareness of the harms caused by the global fashion industry and by promoting the purchase or exchange of ‘pre-loved’ clothing as well as up-cycling to turn older items into new and re-wearable pieces.
Their initiative aims to further UN Sustainable Development Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Working closely with Ireland’s National Sight Loss Agency (NCBI), the students’ overall goal was to design and introduce Ireland’s first #BrandNew2U Week which would see schools nationwide participate in promoting sustainable and ethical fashion.
The week would involve national youth engagement in activities such as information and upcycling workshops, sustainable fashion shows and swap shops as well as local partnerships with NCBI shops where students would be given the opportunity to decorate shop fronts and assist in stores to attract younger clientele. They hope that such awareness will help to recruit and engage more schools and charities over the coming years.
As well as creating information packs to send out to schools nationally, the team also set up Instagram and TikTok accounts to raise awareness of the effects of fast fashion, hosted a Christmas Jumper Swap Shop in their school, and collaborated with Global Action Plan Ireland to create fast fashion lesson plans for teachers to use in the classroom.
Our project is about trying to stop fast fashion and to teach people why we would like to stop it. We aren’t trying to completely get rid of fast fashion as a whole but simply to make a small change in their lifestyle when it comes to fashion
This project achieved many successes with huge potential for further and sustained impact. From educating and engaging their peers on issues around climate action, sustainability and fair pay and working conditions for garment workers, to the establishment of a national awareness week campaign in collaboration with NCBI.
The partnership with NCBI is two-fold. Not only does such an initiative promote more sustainable and ethical consumer behaviours, it also benefits the charity whose work is critical to all of those throughout Ireland with sight loss.
The team won Bronze in the Young Social Innovators of the Year Awards 2021, and received a prize bursary of €750 to put towards developing their idea and increasing the impact of their innovation.