A school-wide digital SUSTAINABILITY program
We have created a digital youth education program that teaches students in grades 4-12 about the social & environmental impacts of the global fashion industry, while empowering them to build a more resilient and sustainable future.
Heroes Wear Kapes Platform was developed with a holistic focus and includes a variety of teaching and learning methods such as personal leadership, active and inquiry based learning, democratic role-play, collaboration, value focused thinking, reflection and critical thinking.
Students learn about the life cycle of a t-shirt and its impact on the environment across the entire supply chain.Clothes are being made and disposed of faster than ever before. From the extraction of raw materials through to the end of a garment’s life, the process leaves a huge environmental footprint. The fashion supply chain is vast – with cotton grown in one country, then spun into a yarn in another, only to be made into fabric and then into a garment in other factories in other countries. So by the time a t-shirt lands on your back, it has (on average) travelled nearly 25,000km, or 5 times across Canada.
Students take a journey along the lifecycle of a t-shirt and its impact on the environment and biodiversity – from carbon emissions to water pollution to waste – at every step of the supply chain.
Students learn about the life cycle of a t-shirt and its impact on the environment across the entire supply chain.
Students learn about toxic chemicals used to make our clothing, and how they impact ecosystems and human health.
There are over 1600 chemicals used to make our clothing – many of these are highly toxic or carcinogenic, resulting in pollution to our air, soil and water, and ultimately impacting human health. Conventional cotton is grown with genetically modified seeds and sprayed with toxic pesticides such as Roundup —and these persist in the fabric even after manufacturing. Many textiles also contain chlorine bleach, formaldehyde, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), PFCs (Perfluorinated chemicals), ammonia, and/or other harmful chemicals. Add to that heavy metals, PVC, and resins, which are involved in dyeing and printing processes.
Students learn about these chemicals and why they are being used, as well as the impact they have on water, animal welfare and human health. They will also come to understand what action is being taken by the industry to eliminate hazardous chemicals from supply chains, what to look for on a label when they buy new clothing, and how to care for their clothes in a non-polluting way.
Students learn about the people who make our clothes and how fashion impacts the lives of garment workers.
Our friends at Fashion Revolution have done a great job of raising awareness for the people who make our clothes with the popular #WhoMadeMyClothes. There are more than 60 million garment workers worldwide, and roughly 75% are women; many do not share the same rights or protections that most people in the west do.
Students will do a deep dive into ethical fashion, exploring the global supply chain and all the “hands” that touch a garment before it lands on their back. They will learn the difference between minimum and living wage, worker safety, modern slavery, the Sustainable Development Goals and more. At the end of this session, students will know what is meant by the “true cost” of our clothing, understanding how human rights violations are still rampant in today’s supply chains.
Students learn about the negative impact of fashion waste and how to be a 7R’s of Fashion Leader.
Have you ever thought about the amount of clothes that are made and consumed every year by the world’s population? Globally, we purchased more than 107 billion items of clothing and 14.5 billion pairs of shoes in 2016. We buy 60% more clothes today than we did 20 years ago, and we keep our clothes for half as long. Fast fashion in many cases means cheap and poor quality clothing that falls apart after a few washes. All of this contributes to our clothing ending up in the landfill – 500,000 tonnes a year in Canada alone.
Students learn the difference between a linear and circular economy, and how they can be part of the solution by actively participating in the 7R’s of Circular Fashion – reduce, reuse, repurpose, repair, resale, rent & recycle.