Category Archives: EDUCATION

Mind Map: Understanding Cause & Consequence [classroom ready worksheets]



When attempting to better understand any issue, there are two very important questions to consider:

1. Why does the issue exist?

2. What will happen if the issue persists?

With Nadira’s tried and tested mind-map formula, we’ve build four template worksheets for you to download for use in your own classrooms, using themes from each station in our SAGE module. Click on a theme to be taken to a page where you can view and download the worksheet:

To get you started, Nadira’s done a sample map, investigating the cause and consequence of increases in price of cotton clothing. Nadira’s mind map (imaged below) is included as the example for each of the worksheets and available to download and/or print as a hand-out (Page 2).

Let us know how you make out!

Social Alterations to present at ECO Fashion Week Vancouver: Oct. 19



Will you be in Vancouver, Canada, on October 19th?

Mary will be speaking at ECO Fashion Week this season, alongside Tara Sawatsky (Canopy), Martin Hojsik (Greenpeace International), Carly Stojsic (WGSN), Myriam Laroche (Eco Fashion Week), Katharine Shipley (Our Social Fabric), Mark Sklazeski (SustainU), and Melissa Ferreira (Adhesif Clothing).



  • 2:00pm @ Robson Square


  • Textiles and Manufacturing
  • Labour and Manufacturing
  • Industry Trends
  • Consumer Behaviour and Awareness
  • Recycling and Upcycling

Click here for more information on the SMART TALK line-up.

The seminars are free, but you’ll need to register in advance to hold your place (limited seating).

If you’ll be there, please make sure to introduce yourself and say to Mary!

EFW Season 5 runs from Oct. 15 to 19th, click here to view the entire event details and schedule.

Welcome to the lab…

Social Alterations is a learning hub for responsible fashion. In the lab you’ll find lesson plans, activities, workshops, games, etc., all for… free! What’s the catch?

Well, if you want to learn with us, you’ve got to get serious about the social and ecological impacts of the fashion industry. Our education modules will do more than get you started, they’ll motivate you to inspire change.





 The #GET Stage

 The #MAKE Stage

 The #BUY Stage

The #TOSS Stage

Lesson 1:

Sifting Through the ‘Ecofashion’ Lexicon


Lesson 2:

Key Players

Lesson 3:

Global Governance and the Corporation

Lesson 4:

Corporate Social Responsibility


Fashion High:

Understanding the Impact of your Clothing

[Pre-16 Workshop]


Fibre Analysis:

Possible Social and Environmental Impacts

Responsible Fashion Roundup

The Social Alterations team is constantly coming across interesting content from a wide variety of sources. This is a curated selection of thought provoking reading we’ve done in the past month related to responsible fashion.


§ Bangladesh’s garment sector woes made the New York Times twice in the last two months (granted, the first article was not published in September but it is very relevant and I highly recommend it):

Export Powerhouse Feels Pangs of Labor Strife

“As Bangladesh garment workers have seen their meager earnings eroded by double-digit inflation, protests and violent clashes with the police have become increasingly common (NY Times).”

Fighting for Bangladesh Labor, and Ending Up in Pauper’s Grave

“The murder of a labor organizer bore a grim familiarity in a country with a brutal legacy of politically motivated killings (NY Times).”


§ It’s September and you know what that means in Uzbekistan. Once again, we see a mass mobilization of the Uzbek population to pick cotton. The Washington Times published an update on this year’s cotton harvest. We’ve covered this topic before on SA and we’ve also included Uzbekistan as the first station in our SAGE module where we also highlight the impact of the cotton industry on the Aral Sea. Vice places this into a wider context discussing the political implications of water scarcity in Central Asia.

Uzbek government breaks promise to end child labor in cotton fields

“Uzbekistan’s prime minister pledged last month to end child labor in the country’s cotton fields. But as the harvest season gets under way, human rights activists say children as young as 13 are being put to work under grueling conditions, despite extreme measures to recruit adult labor (The Washington Post).”

Is Central Asia on the Verge of a Water War?

“[A] new kind of conflict is rising in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan that could eventually lead to the first water war of the 21st century (Vice).”


§ In textile news, FastCompany writes about the startup Modern Meadow and the possibility of lab-grown leather which takes BioCouture to a whole new level. Is this the sustainable alternative to today’s vegan leather?

In Five Years, You May Be Wearing A Lab-Grown Leather Jacket

“Modern Meadow–a lab-grown meat startup–is getting closer and closer to growing leather in a test tube. But that’s just the beginning. Why grow regular leather when you can use your lab to make leather better? (FastCompany, Co.Exist)”


§ Speaking of vegan shoes, EcoSalon has decided to take a closer look at Melissa Shoes. Their conclusions closely resemble ours posted three years ago here & here.

Behind the Label: The sustainability claims behind Melissa Shoes

“Melissa shoes are widely assumed to be eco-friendly. However, they are made from PVC, which is widely known to be one of the most environmentally unfriendly plastics (EcoSalon).”

As Public Enemy said…


§ And of course, everyone likes money, money, money! TreeHugger does not disappoint in this post on industry stats, but along with the economics of fashion, TH provide a small glimpse into the social aspects so often ignored….all with links to learn more!

25 Shocking Fashion Industry Statistics

“So many clothes, so many staggering statistics (TreeHugger).”


Six Items Challenge // Week 1

Well, we’re officially 12 days into our 4 week #SixItemsChallenge for Labour Behind the Label. We’ve written up our thoughts and feelings so far with the challenge (trust us that it is a challenge), and hope you’ll pop over to their site to hear about them. Please also check out the stylings and stories of our fellow ‘Sixers’ – they are rocking this challenge and making it look easy!


Links you’ll need if you want to connect: