I was working with the Fashion Revolution team at London College of Fashion. I really needed a swimsuit for a trip to the Bahamas and heard that AURIA swimsuits were for sale at the EMG Progressive Fashion Concept Store in Beak Street, Soho, just a few blocks away.  I found the perfect swimsuit!  As it’s Fashion Revolution Week, I, of course had to ask the question #whomademyclothes?IMG_0095

 

AURIA’s swimsuits are made from Econyl.

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According to their website ‘the innovative ECONYL® Regeneration System is based on sustainable chemistry. With this process, the nylon contained in waste, such as carpets, clothing and fishing nets, is transformed back into raw material without any loss of quality.

fishing nets
And here are the people who made my swimsuit …

Paolo here in the #ECONYL plant? He prepares nets for regeneration
This is Paolo in the ECONYL plant He prepares nets for  regeneration

this is Ivo with some nets to be turned into #ECONYL yarn

This is Ivo with some nets to be turned into ECONYL yarn

Jan with some carpet fluff, the upper part of old carpets that we regenerate into #ECONYL yarn

Jan with some carpet fluff, the upper part of old carpets that is regenerated into ECONYL yarn

Denis & Mladen they are at the very beginning of the#ECONYL regeneration process

Denis & Mladen they are at the very beginning of the ECONYL regeneration process

Jozica works in the chemical lab. She checks the #waste material that will become #ECONYL yarn

Jozica works in the chemical lab. She checks the waste material that will become ECONYL yarn

Mirko keeps an eye on the spinning to get the best quality #ECONYL regenerated yarn in Slovenia

Mirko keeps an eye on the spinning to get the best quality ECONYL regenerated yarn in Slovenia

You can find Boro always around our bobbins of #ECONYL regenerated yarn to check quality!

You can always find Boro around the bobbins of ECONYL regenerated yarn to check quality

Bobbins of our #ECONYL regenerated yarn wouldn't get to our clients if it wasn't for Muamer

Bobbins of ECONYL regenerated yarn wouldn’t get to clients if it wasn’t for Muamer

And all of this recycled fibre then gets made into gorgeous AURIA swimsuits

I’m really happy to see that ECONYL is able to answer the question #whomademyclothes and show me the faces of everyone who has helped to make the fibre for my new swimsuit #imadeyourclothes

Cotton is one of the world’s dirtiest crops.

When you pick up a cotton T-shirt on the High Street, and only wear it a couple of times, do you ever stop to think about the impact which the water used for that garment has had on the local environnment? Probably not. Your average cotton T-Shirt has comsumed a staggering 2700 litres of water on its journey from the cotton field to the shop where you bought it.

“The fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries in the world, causing human misery, enormous cost of life and gigantic environmental devastation” Katharine Hamnett

The World Bank estimates that around 20% of industrial water pollution in the world comes from the treatment and dyeing of textiles. The textile industry is second only to agriculture as the biggest global polluter of clean water.

The water needed to grow cotton threatens precious water resources for local people. The Aral Sea was once the fourth largest lake in the world, home to millions of fish and surrounded by fishing communities. Now covers only 10% of its former surface area and holds less than 10% of the volume of water it held in the 1970s. Why? Demand for cotton.

NASA made the shock announcement that a large area of the Aral Sea had completely dried up. Beyond the loss of fresh water and their livelihoods, local communities are also suffering from carcinogenic dust from the lake bed being blown into their villages.  As we are talking about water, I won’t even start on the forced labour of thousands of people sent to work to pick cotton every harvest by the Uzbeki authorities.

Source: USGS/NASA

Source: USGS/NASA

According to Frances Corner in her book Why Fashion Matters, if we all extended the lifecycle of our cotton garments by 9 months, this could reduce the water footprint of our clothing by 30%. Surely 9 months isn’t too much to ask?

This week, Greenpeace released a new Detox Catwalk video. At the same time, they released new rankings to show which companies really are detoxing their supply chains and which ones are greenwashing or taking no responsibility for their toxic trail. See the rankings here

 

On Thursday, the Oceana Junior Ocean Council Fashions for the Future event took place at Phillips Auction House in Berkeley Square, London. Oceana is the largest international advocacy group working solely to protect the world’s oceans. Since 2001 Oceana has protected over 1.2 million square miles of ocean, including innumerable sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and other sea creatures. Find out more about Oceana here


Oceana finale

 

CEO of Oceana, Andrew Sharpless, said:

“If you care about biodiversity, save the oceans.
If you care about climate change, save the oceans.
If you care about jobs for coastal communities, save the oceans.
If you care about human health, save the oceans.
This is the single thing we can do to make a difference for the future”

Festivals can turn out to be an expensive weekend, with most major festivals now charging around £200 for the weekend ticket, and this doesn’t even include food, alcohol and transportation costs. According to the Daily Mail, the average festival-goer will spend £423, which is way out of my student budget! Last summer, I went to four festivals: Glastonbury, Latitude, Y Not and Leeds – none of which I paid for.

In this post I’ll let you into my secrets of a cheap weekend full of music.

 Volunteering

At Latitude and Leeds, I volunteered with an organisation called Hotbox Events. I can’t recommend this organisation enough. Not only did we have luxuries such as hot showers, free tea and coffee making facilities and electricity for phone charging and the indispensable hot water bottle, everyone was so friendly and welcoming. I made many friends, with whom I hope to remain in contact.

At Latitude, I worked alongside security as a member of the arena team for two 8-hour shifts, which I found passed quickly and were extremely enjoyable. By pure chance, my position was on the backstage access gate and I had conversations with people such as George Ezra, Danielle and Este Haim, members of Clean Bandit and Temples. This was fantastic as I could still hear the music from the main stage and the security guards kept bringing us tea and coffee. I honestly had a fantastic time during my shifts.

Latitude Festival

Chilling one afternoon by the main stage at Latitude Festival

During Leeds Festival, I was working as a CAT (Campsite Assistant Team). My duties essentially comprised of wandering around the campsite with ghost-buster style water backpacks for controlling any fire that was above knee height, aiding people with directions, lost and found and general welfare.

The perks of this shift (apart from the rather attractive fluorescent tabard) was that campers always seemed so happy to see you around the campsite and offered us so much free food it was unbelievable. People also offered us alcohol, which regrettably we couldn’t take during shift. It was amazing how much the festival-goers appreciated us and it made us feel like we were really making a difference to the atmosphere and safety of the campsite.

My friends and I wearing our gorgeous tabards at Latitude hotbox events

My friends and I wearing our gorgeous tabards

 Small Festivals

If you’d rather not volunteer at a large festival, try going to smaller festivals, tickets are less than half the price and the weekend always turns out to be just as enjoyable.

I’ve been going to a small festival called Y Not for over 4 years now and the weekend ticket cost around £85 (even ‘cheeper’ for early birds). Headliners included Dizzee Rascal, Razorlight, White Lies, The Fratellis, Frank Turner, Newton Faulkner, De La Soul and many more great acts. Not only was the music incredible but Y Not always have such an friendly, youthful atmosphere, with the average age range from 16- 24. If you’re looking for a non-stop party weekend, then this is the place to go on a budget.

Y Not is a great place to go with friends fun

Y Not is a great place to go with friends

Sienna Somers, the savvy student  in lab coat and safety gogglesI believe gender equality is not only possible but achievable. I want to see this happen in my lifetime. At the current rate of progress, it will take 70 years to see gender-balanced boardrooms according to the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. We cannot choose whether we are born into a male or a female body, but we can choose to treat both of them equally.

For gender equality to become a global reality, it is essential to address the underlying causes. How are we going to tackle issues such as violence against women, the pay gap (which stands at 19.1% in the UK) and unequal access to education when so few women hold positions of power, not just in the FTSE 100 but in government?

With women making up only 26% of candidates in Britain’s 2015 election, I believe we need to empower my generation to speak up for their values at all levels of society, from the home to government if we are to see change happen.

2015 has the potential to be a historically significant year. Women make up 70% of the world’s poor and are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than men as they are highly dependent on natural resources. The Paris climate change conference needs to ensure the specific needs of women are addressed if we are not to see growing equality. The Sustainable Development Goals, to be decided upon this year, offer a real opportunity to push forward women’s rights and equality in the future. There are crucial decisions to be made this year. I want to encourage people to recognise their potential to influence global issues. We can make a difference at a global level by setting an example of best practice for others to follow and by making our voices heard worldwide through campaigns and social media.film Smurfs: The Lost Village 2017 online

As a woman in science, I find it disappointing and astonishing that only 13% of STEM jobs (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) are occupied by women. An unconscious bias still seems to exist that these are typically “male” fields. I would like to explore whether female students feel inhibited from pursuing jobs in these disciplines and achieving their full potential.

Education needs to be at the forefront of change. By influential women interacting with groups such as local schools, I believe we can find ways to encourage and promote a new generation of women to these essential disciplines.

 

This week I made a video about How to Join the Fashion Revolution.

To demonstrate how to take a selfie showing your label, I wore my favourite T-Shirt with the slogan WE ARE THE SEA.

received_10204262302139512

 

And then I started wondering:

Who made the T-Shirt I was wearing in the video? Where was the cotton grown?  Where was it printed?

 

 

So, I decided to contact the brand, We are Islanders, and ask them #WhoMadeMyClothes?

This is the fantastic reply which I have just received from Erin at We Are Islanders:

“Hi Sienna, thanks for asking! Your We Are The Sea t-shirt is from Continental Clothing’s Earth Positive Apparel collection, meaning it is 100% organic with 90% reduced CO2.

The production of this t-shirt has been audited by the Fair Wear Foundation before being hand-printed by the We Are Islanders team in a Dublin print collective.”

 

We are Islanders 1

 

We Are Islanders also sent me some photos of them screenprinting T-Shirts like the one I wore, so now I really do know Who Made My T-shirt!

 

We Are Islanders 2

 

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