Savannah College of Art and Design wins the 2019 Wear it Wise Sustainable Fashion Challenge
In partnership with the Levi Strauss Foundation, Eileen Fisher, Columbia Sportswear and Remake, Net Impact is excited to announce another successful year of Wear it Wise, the organization’s first program dedicated to addressing the impacts of the global fashion industry. Selected Wear it Wise leaders were tasked with designing and executing a public awareness campaign with the goal of educating communities about the social and environmental impacts of the global fashion industry.
Paramount to the campaign goal was to highlight solutions that consumers can take to improve their consumer behavior on an everyday basis. It’s no small task considering the statistics around fast fashion, but as a Masters Candidate in Sustainable Design, Net Impact Chapter Leader and campaign lead Rina Strydom saw a ripe opportunity to put her passion into action. To make the most lasting impact, the Savannah College of Art and Design student focused her campaign to target classmates studying fashion design. Strydom and co-leader Sierra Saia partnered with the SCAD Slow Fashion Club to put on a Sustainable Fashion competition using only upcycled clothing, which debuted at the campus’ Earth Day celebration bringing in over 300 students and faculty. The competition’s judging panel featured faculty members in the Design and Fashion departments, as well as, a local Savannah-based entrepreneur.
The grassroots campaign’s reach didn’t stop with the aspiring fashion designers. Strydom and Saia’s campaign featured a campus-wide clothing swap as well as three “Mending Pop-ups” that educated the general campus community on how to fix their clothing to prolong its life and keep it out of the landfill. They spent their time showing students how to re-sew buttons, close holes, repair backpack straps and zippers, sweaters and belt loops. “It was a wonderful way to get students involved in conversations about sustainable fashion and clothing care values. The audience walked away with a “new” old garment and some home-baked cookies” Strydom said.
Taking the campaign on the road, they also hosted a tour of the local Goodwill and Salvation Army with Fashion Professor Doris Treptow and the managers of the facilities. “The goal of the trip was to go behind the scenes of these organizations and expose students to the reality of the garment and goods disposal.” Afterward, the group of students discussed the lifecycle of garments and the importance of circularity in the fashion industry.
And the concept of circularity doesn’t only apply to their sustainable fashion campaign. Strydom’s next step is laying the groundwork for future SCAD students to take action in the fashion industry as well. “My leadership role in the Slow Fashion Club is to set-up the students of the next generation to take these learnings and continue the work we have achieved over the last months,” said Strydom. To follow their campaign and see more photos of their events, you can follow @SCADslowfashionclub on Instagram or follow their journey with the hashtag #ReWorn.