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What is Fashion Revolution?
You might first be wondering what exactly is Fashion Revolution? Well, it’s a global movement that operates in 90 countries around the world with the purpose of raising the ethical and environmental production standards of the fashion industry. With greater transparency in how our clothes are made and by whom, we can foster the sustainable development of fashion’s harmful industry practices. Our clothes may be pretty, but unfortunately, they have an ugly background…
In 2013, a clothing factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, wherein popular retailers such as J.C. Penny and United Colors of Benetton produced their goods, collapsed due to ignored structural damages and killed over 1,100 workers in a single day. As a result came the film “The True Cost,” a documentary about how much our clothing is really worth (which screened last September at the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival in Santo Domingo) and Fashion Revolution worldwide. With representatives around the world calling upon fashion activists and public awareness, a better future is in sight for humanity, our environment, and our wardrobes.
The Dominican Republic’s country coordinator for Fashion Revolution is Altos de Chavón School of Design graduate, María Amelia Martínez. She, along with several others, including the school’s Fashion Director Marina Spadafora, who serves as the country coordinator for Italy, put together a clothing swap in the capital in an effort to recycle one’s wardrobe.
What is a clothing swap?
As their first activity for Fashion Revolution DR, students of the Chavón School of Design in Santo Domingo took clothes from their closets they didn’t wear anymore and swapped them out for others they were interested in! Categorizing each apparel item beforehand with a numeric value (3 – Very Good, 2 – Average, 1 – Fair), students received the equivalent value in tickets they exchanged for an item of the same quality. What did this accomplish? It kept tons of clothing out of landfills – which is a leader in the creation of green house gases, and helped participants renew their wardrobes without spending any money! Approximately 300 pieces of clothing swapped hands and even more was left over.
A clothing drive for the Hogar del Niño
What to do with a bunch of clothing you don’t want in landfills? Marina Spadafora decided to extend the mission to the Hogar del Niño, increasing the awareness of conscious consumerism throughout the Dominican Republic. Before donating the clothes, she sat with students to explain the negative outcomes of fast-fashion and the principles of sustainability. She encouraged both boys and girls not to throw away their clothes, but call their friends and do a swap instead! The students of the Hogar del Niño were very impressed as they listened and reviewed their leaflets on ethical fashion; plus, they were really happy to receive lots of cool clothes!
Marina says she’s proud of her students for initiating Fashion Revolution in the Dominican Republic, which began in September of 2015, and that it’s great youth are taking a concern in our environment and in the ethical treatment of those who make our clothing. Next up could be a Clothing Swap in Casa de Campo! Just stay on the lookout. For more information on Fashion Revolution DR and how to become involved, see below.
The following photos were taken by Lauren Bowcutt at the Fashion Revolution DR’s Clothing Swap in Santo Domingo:
and by Jordan Stone at the Hogar del Niño Clothing Drive in La Romana:
Fashion Revolution DR
We no longer know who makes our clothes and we do not know the true cost of the things we buy. The fashion supply chain is fractured and the producers have become faceless. This is costing lives. We believe that rebuilding broken links across the entire supply chain, from the farmer to the consumer, is the only way to transform the entire industry. Fashion Revolution brings everyone together to make that happen.
We believe that transparency is the first step in transforming the industry. And it begins with a simple question: Who made my clothes?
The Dominican Republic is a country with rich culture. Fashion is becoming more important and we have about five fashion weeks including Dominican Moda and Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week being two of the most important. With the growth of this industry in the country we are looking for new ways and materials to develop it without harming our resources and our people.
We always look for brands, boutiques, students, educational organizations, NGOs and journalists who contribute to our cause and want to be part of this movement and its activities. If you want to know more about Fashion Revolution Dominican Republic or want to join our team as a volunteer, write to us at [email protected].
Maria Amelia Martinez de Lizarduy, Country Coordinator; Emely Fanfán; Karla Dipuglia; Camila Morales; José Padilla
The Hogar del Niño is a children’s daycare and educational center for over 1500 children, located in La Romana town, just outside of Casa de Campo. Children from as young as just a few weeks old up to 18 years old are cared for and educated daily, from as early as 5:30am and staying as late as 7pm.
The organization also provides special schooling to over 75 hearing impaired and blind children, as well as a vocational school where over 235 students receive classes in different areas like: sewing; industrial preparation, installation and electrical maintenance; plumbing and management of computer office programs.