People; is one of the initial key inspirations for starting TOBEFRANK. People make our clothes, talented, wonderful, stressed, tired, happy, busy, fabulous people.
There is so much talk, articles, campaigns and media coverage about sustainability which is fabulous, but the focus leans towards the environment, not the people. And people, if we like it or not, are the primary cause of our struggling world and for some bizarre reason the first thing we dismiss. The argument of who and why to blame is endless, and regardless of the loudest voice, as the self-appointed leaders of the earth, people, we’ve got a lot of crap to clean up.
Sustainability isn’t just about the environment. People around the world need to thrive and prosper for our environment to do the same. The T-Shirt you're wearing – someone farmed the cotton, spun the yarn, cut those fabric pieces and stitched it together. These people have families and friends like you and I. They go to work and come home like you and I. They have dreams and goals like you and I. But in many cases, they are not treated fairly by the fashion industry. Peoples wellfair is sustainability.
I have visited several schools to talk to pupils on the subject of sustainability. I like to show children what have been developing as part of TOBEFRANK, showing them fun fabrics is a tad more interesting that reeling off a whole load of facts. On one occasion I showed a group of 10 to 12 years olds some fabric the fabric mill near them had developed, This fabric was 100% made from recycled plastic bottles and used zero water. I chatted to them about how much plastic waste was in the world and that maybe reusing it would be a start to making a difference. The children found it fascinating that plastic bottles could be made into clothes, they jumped around excitingly asking questions. One boy about 12 years old put his hand up politely and said “it’s a good idea, using plastic, but if all the clothes were made out of recycled stuff, what would happen to the cotton farmers?” This was such a bright question. He’s thinking about people, about the impact our decisions can have, beyond himself.
As mentioned before, being sustainable is not all about the environment and it is not another word for green. Poverty often contributes to environmental degradation and thriving industries in developing countries often encourage deforestation increasing the rate of endangering already endangered species. Knowing when or why not to cut down a tree can save a whole forest. A little education and a re-set of our moral compass in the right direction. will make a difference.
Thanks for reading :) if you have any comments feel free to get in touch