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Social Alterations is a learning hub for responsible fashion. In the lab you’ll find lesson plans, activities, workshops, games, etc.,…

On the importance of birth certificates in Bangladesh

A screenshot of one of the stop motion animations in 'My Birth Certificate!'

Birth certificates in Bangladesh. A crucial issue, not often discussed. In the wake of the Rana Plaza collapse, media, research, company and campaign attention in/on Bangladesh has typically focused on such issues as disaster relief and compensation, building and worker safety, wages and trade unionism, etc.—all issues we know are important to labour rights (and…

WATCH // Modern Slavery: Are we complicit?

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  Earlier this month I was invited to participate in a panel on modern slavery at the University of Edinburgh, organised by the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability. The panel addressed a lot of issues, including the (potential) impact of consumer boycotts and buycotts. I called on consumers to remember they are more than consumers,…

WATCH // Udita (Arise): a film on garment making in Bangladesh

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    On April 24th 2013, the Rana Plaza building collapsed in Bangladesh. Over 1,130 workers were killed and thousands more were left injured. These workers were producing garments for consumers in Europe and North America. We have now marked the two year anniversary of the collapse, yet the ILO trust fund established to support victims and their…

LEARN // UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework + implementation guide

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Need guidance to support human rights in your workplace? Check out the UN Guiding Principles Reporting Framework and implementation guide—a free downloadable resource, licensed through the Creative Commons. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights came into play in 2011, but the Reporting Framework hopes to steps things up. According to John Ruggie: “This…

LEARN // The WellMade Project

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  A three year project that began in 2013, WellMade provides free online resources designed to help brands better support labour rights in their supply chains. The Fair Wear Foundation (FWF) is lead partner on the initiative, working collaboratively with other partners and associates. There are currently four specific case studies to assist brands: (1)…

ATTEND // Beauty by Design: Fashioning the Renaissance

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This past weekend, I headed to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh to check out the exhibit Beauty by Design: Fashioning the Renaissance. I’m so glad I did. The show challenges current assumptions of beauty by exploring how perceptions of body image have changed over time: “The theme of body image is central: the…

POLL // Child labour in the fashion supply chain

Child Labour

(Update: The video embedded below is seemingly no longer available to view online. The video depicted a number of children working in India, sewing clothing for the H&M and Alexander Wang collection at machines in a factory. At the end of the video, one boy declared how happy he was to work on this line.…

ATTEND // WEAR 2014 (Updated)

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WEAR 2014 hits Toronto, Canada, November 3rd and 4th, 2014 (updated dates). The event, presented by Canada’s Fashion Takes Action, offers keynote presentations and panel discussions from industry stakeholders on the following themes (updated themes): Creating Shared Value & Profitability Through Sustainable Business Practices The Evolution of Social Standards & Systems; Navigating Change Make Fair,…

READ// Women in Clothes

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We first caught wind of the epic collection that is Women in Clothes via Facebook from Zoe Welch, who contributed to the project. Most wonderfully, you can read through participant survey answers online! Although the book is now published, the project survey itself is still online, which we think would make an awesome classroom activity! Edited by…

EXHIBIT// Politics of Fashion | Fashion of Politics

Canada’s QUEEN of fashion, Jeanne Beker, is guest curator for an upcoming exhibit at The Design Exchange on the intersection of politics and fashion! The exhibit covers political fashion from 1960 to the present including a paper dress covered with Pierre Trudeau’s face during the Trudeaumania days, fur coats splattered by PETA, skinhead fashion, and a…