Four Students, One Mission

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What do the youth think about upcycling their own clothes?  I got the chance to find out from environmental advocates Anna and Jia Yi, both of whom are part of the Clothes Call team (the other members being Sharmaine and Wen Yan).  The ladies had touched base with me in early November last year, but we couldn't find a common time to meet up (we are extremely busy!!) until 4 days before their event, "Clothes Call for Celebration", which gives me just about enough time to put up this blog post!

As students of the Wee Kim Wee School of Communications and Information at Nanyang Technological University, they had to submit their final year project. As Anna put it, "us being girls, we had a common interest in fashion" and decided to look at textile waste issue in Singapore. They were concerned that textile waste is not being addressed in Singapore, and took issue with the fact that the public generally looked at upcycling / recycling just for plastic bottles, cardboard and aluminium cans. They decided to embark on their campaign to educate the public that clothes could become more than just rags or waste.  

What Do Our Youth Think?

The team conducted a survey with the youth (350 youths aged between 15 - 34) and found that not being fashionable is the top reason why this group readily throws away clothes. In fact, the survey found that this group frequents fast fashion outlets for their garments, and 45% of them dispose of clothing with general waste even though they are aware of Singapore's recycling programme.  The girls said that their peers usually clear out their wardrobes 2 to 3 times a year, and shop for more clothes at least once a month! I can't begin to imagine how new those clothes were!

Will Youths Make Upcycling Part of Their Lives?

They have found the response to their campaign very encouraging, with many participants saying they are keen and not resistant to the idea of upcycling their clothes.

Anna and  Jia Yi

Tips from Anna & Jia Yi

Anna shared how she made her jumper into a cardigan, and how she even transformed her maxi dress into a skirt. Jia Yi shared her silkscreened t-shirt the team created for the campaign. The girls shared that upcycling can be easy - for example silk screening takes less than half an hour, and even a little embroidery does wonders to a garment!

"You can upcycle with your friends and family"

"I found a new hobby - embroidery!"

I have to agree with them that easy entry techniques would probably nudge people to upcycle their clothes!

Being young (ahem), I suggested we end off the interview with a selfie! Good luck girls!

Where and When You Can Find Clothes Call?

Join them this Sunday for their campaign finale: 
15 Feb 2015, 10am - 6pm IMM Level 3 Garden Plaza
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