Category Archives: EDUCATION

WATCH // Media Theorised: Reading against the grain


What role does advertising play in journalism? Who funds and controls media coverage? Why is representation so important? How are stereotypes produced and reproduced through the media? Does the medium that we use consume information matter?

And, what does any of this have to do with responsible fashion?

The Listening Post has produced a series of short animated films introducing five media theorists: Roland Barthes, Noam Chomsky, Stuart Hall, Marshall McLuhan, and Edward Said. Media Theorised is a project that calls for a critical engagement with the media, and is a nice resource to share with friends, colleagues and students.

Many of the entanglements highlighted by these theorists are brought to the surface through the project itself, with respect to how it is shared and consumed, and all of these tensions would make great topics for further discussion: for example, the fact that I am sharing this content with you through a blog post on an English-language website; that the Media Theorized project was itself developed by a media network (Al Jazeera), and that each video has little Google advertisements that pop-up, and sometimes play before the video starts—a  reminder of the role of advertising in media (briefly mentioned in the Noam Chomsky piece); or the fact that you may have found this post through social media, and may be reading this content on a tablet, phone or laptop.

A couple of years ago I briefly shared some thoughts on how one of these tensions plays out in media stories related to labour rights for IANS: sponsored content surrounding responsible fashion, where the lines between corporate interests, corporate social responsibility, and critical journalism (or even bad journalism, for that matter) become blurred. Although I was picking on The Guardian at that time, the takeaway was that a critical lens is needed when reading any and all media coverage related to these issues (including coverage produced on this site).

I hope you’ll find these resources relevant and interesting. I’ve embedded a couple of the animations below. Each film comes with an essay and a downloadable poster – who doesn’t love a good poster?

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


Udita Poster


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 families remains nearly 3 million dollars short.

Rana Plaza was not the first industrial accident of its kind in Bangladesh, and building (and fire) safety is not the only challenge faced by garment workers.

Udita, the latest documentary from The Rainbow Collective, brings together footage capturing garment work in Bangladesh, collected over a five year period.

The Rainbow Collective premiered the film in East London at the Unite The Union Community Centre to a packed house on 24 April, marking the 2nd anniversary of the Rana Plaza collapse.

Udita Trailer (full documentary below):


Udita asks its audience to listen to the testimonies of workers and organisers. No simple solution is presented. No judgements are passed. Viewers are left to draw their own connections.

Thanks to The Rainbow Collective for making Udita free and accessible.

Please watch and share through your networks.

Udita (full documentary):

Note: This blog post was also published on Routes blog, with permission. 

Call for Papers // Fashion Theory Special Issue: Brazilian Fashion

Fashion Theory, a premier journal in the academic study of fashion, seeks articles for a special issue on Brazilian Fashion.

The issue will be guest edited by Dr. Rita M. Andrade (Universidade Federal de Goiás, Brazil) and Dr. Regina A. Root (The College of William and Mary, USA).

About the journal:

Fashion Theory takes as its starting point a definition of ‘fashion’ as the cultural construction of the embodied identity. The importance of studying the body as a site for the deployment of discourses has been well established in a number of disciplines. Until Fashion Theory’s launch in 1997 the dressed body had suffered from a lack of critical analysis. Increasingly scholars have recognized the cultural significance of self-fashioning, including not only clothing but also such body alterations as tattooing and piercing. 

Fashion Theory provides an international and interdisciplinary forum for the rigorous analysis of cultural phenomena. Its peer-reviewed articles range from foot-binding to fashion advertising.

Click below to download the full call for papers:

Fashion Theory: Brazilian Fashion

Deadline for abstract submission (300 words): August 1st, 2014; act fast!

Test your knowledge! And track fast fashion with this interactive Africa study map

How well do you know your geography when it comes to Africa? Unfortunately, many of us need to study up.

This online tool could be a great addition to learning activities on fast fashion supply chains – specifically on second-hand trade.

Add this tool to:

via Africa is a Country

Africa Study Map

Call for Papers // Fashion in Fiction 2014, Hong Kong

I recently ran into Dr. Anne Peirson-Smith at an event and she mentioned that City University of Hong Kong (which happens to be where I’m completing my PhD) is hosting the Fashion in Fiction 2014 conference with the theme Style Stories and Transglobal Narratives. The conference will take place at CityU in Hong Kong from June 12-14, 2014 hosted by the Department of English and the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre.

The conference organizers encourage cross-disciplinary research to address various themes described in the call for papers as such:

“This conference will focus on the material and non-material forms of fashion for a range of professional, commercial, historical, social, cultural and creative purposes. The conference will be international and cross-cultural in order to highlight the largely transglobal, transcultural multiple flows of fashion discourse and to broaden the analysis of fashion beyond a purely traditional Western frame of analysis.”

Possible paper topics include:

• Fashion and/in novels, plays, diaries, short stories
• Fashion and/in films and television programs
• Fashion archives
• Fashion illustration
• Fashion discourse
• Fashion and social media
• Fashion travel
• Fashion and popular culture
• Fashion and cultural hybridity
• Fashion and politics
• Fashion and gender

Click below to see the very detailed call for papers.

Submitted conference papers will be blind peer-reviewed and conference organizers aim to publish accepted submissions either as a journal article or as a book chapter.

Abstract Deadline: February 1, 2014.

Acceptance Notification: February 14, 2014.

More Details: Fashion in Fiction: Style Stories and Transglobal Narratives Call For Papers

Call for Papers // Fashion, Style & Popular Culture

Fashion, Style & Popular Culture seeks academic articles for a Special Issue entitled Latin American / Latino Fashion, Style and Popular Culture.

About the journal: 

Fashion, Style & Popular Culture is concerned with style, fashion, clothing, design, and related trends, as well as appearances and consumption as they relate to popular culture. Scholarship using and/or including: historical, manufacturing, aesthetics, marketing, branding, merchandising, retailing, psychological/ sociological aspects of dress, body image, and cultural identities, in addition to any areas topics such as purchasing, shopping, and the ways in which consumers construct identities are welcome.

Papers from all research methods and disciplines are welcome! Innovative and new popular culture research, scholarship and creative works in the areas of fashion, design, style, the body and consumerism are encouraged!”

Click below for full details in both English and Spanish on the main themes, possible topics and other relevant information:

Fashion, Style & Popular Culture Special Issue: Latin American / Latino Fashion, Style & Popular Culture

Revista de Moda, Estilo y Cultura Popular Edición Especial: Moda, estilo y Cultura Popular en América Latina / Latinos en el exterior

Deadline for submission: February 1st, 2014; act fast!

Resources // NPR’s Planet Money Makes a ‘Simple’ T-shirt

Planet Money showing just how little the industry has changed.

Planet Money showing just how little the industry has changed.


Planet Money:

What would you like the people who buy this t-shirt to know about you?

Doris Restrepo, Garment Worker, Medellín, Colombia:

What is behind the T-shirt: It’s a world.

NPR’s Planet Money has released a five chapter series on the production of a conventional t-shirt. This series is an excellent educational resource and is perfect for ‘flipping’ into a short course on our international fashion system. The videos and accompanying articles would also make a fantastic addition to any of SA’s educational resourcesparticularly the SAGE module where we traced the international production of a hypothetical t-shirt from the farm to the landfill and beyond into it’s second-hand life.

Introducing: Planet Money Makes A T-Shirt from NPR on Vimeo.

Inspired by Pietra Rivoli‘s The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade, Planet Money actually hired the Georgetown Professor as an advisor for this series. Needless to say, I highly recommend the The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy as further reading to help gain even deeper insight into the value chain of a ‘simple’ t-shirt. 

This series is an absolute must for anyone interested in the fashion supply chain as a whole and the political, economic, and social issues that surround the production of clothing.

Planet Money Makes a T-Shirt: The world behind a simple shirt, in five chapters

ATTEND // Kate Fletcher to speak at Emily Carr University – Vancouver, Canada

On January 17, 2013, Kate Fletcher will present at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, Canada, through the TD Speaker Series/Designer in Residence Program.

“Over the last 15 years, Kate’s original thinking and progressive outlook has infused the field of fashion, textiles and sustainability with design thinking, and come to define it. Kate is one of the founders of the ‘slow fashion’ movement and instigator of directional sustainability projects, including Local Wisdom, which has engaged hundreds of people worldwide with the ‘craft of use’ and ‘post-growth’ fashion and was shortlisted for the Observer Ethical Awards in 2010.” (Emily Carr)

When? January 17, 2013 – 7:00pm – 9:00pm

Where? South Building, Room 301, Emily Carr, 1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island –Vancouver, Canada

This event is free and open to the public but you must register your place online – space is limited!

Click here to learn more.

See you there!





UBC Law Review publishes Nadira Lamrad’s “Transnational Business, CSR, and Governance in China”




The University of British Columbia Law Review has recently published one of Nadira’s papers.

Nadira presented “Transnational Business, CSR, and Governance in China” at the Corporate Social Responsibility in the Pacific Rim conference held in Vancouver on April 15, 2011 – a conference organized by The Asia Pacific Dispute Resolution Research Project, The Centre for Business Ethics Research Network (CBERN) and The National Centre for Business Law (NCBL).

So if you’ve ever wondered what Nadira’s up to with her research at City University in Hong Kong, have a look and get in touch!!










EVENT// EFF’s SOURCE Expo 2012 Seminars

The ever-excellent Ethical Fashion Forum has decided to run the fourth SOURCE Expo, a trade show for ethical sourcing, online. What’s even more interesting is that their seminars (webinars) are free to attend!! This promises to be a very interesting event for both designers and consumers interested in learning more about responsible fashion. What an amazing opportunity to hear information directly from those working in the field, but space is limited so sign up now!

Here’s more info on this event:

What: “The event will showcase exemplary suppliers of sustainable fabrics and components, fair trade and ethical production units and factories from all over the world, and broker connections between suppliers, brands, and fashion professionals.

Through targeted online meeting spaces, a programme of seminars and 2 days of free access to extremely valuable sustainable sourcing information on SOURCE Intelligence, SOURCE Expo aims to open doors for suppliers all over the world- and make it easy for designers and brands to build sustainable supply chains.

When: October 31st & November 1st 2012. (Sorry for the short notice!)

Where: Online, sign up in advance here.

Webinar details: October 31st will cover “The Issues” and include webinars covering Innovation, Changing lives, Environmental impact and Sustainable textiles showcase. November 1st is dedicated to “Fabrics and Suppliers” with the following webinars taking place: Artisanal excellence; Luxury, structure, stretch, drape and flow; Wools and heavyweights; Casualwear, large quantities and printing; Accessories and components.

Details for each webinar, including the time, can be found here.

Source: Ethical Fashion Forum’s The Ethical Fashion Source Intelligence