An event aimed at helping address fast fashion and its knock-on effects in the areas of labour law and environmental law will take place on Thursday 17 November between 10 am and 3pm. Organised by Queen Mary’s Legal Advice Centre, the event is open to all – members of the public as well as staff and students.
For one day every year (17 November) law clinics across the world commit to doing one thing to tackle the climate emergency – whether that's holding a conference, conducting research, volunteering for a charity, or running a social media campaign to help inform themselves and their community about a specific aspect of the climate crisis.
So far, more than 50 clinics from Delhi to California to Melbourne have pledged to join Queen Mary in this work, and organisers are hoping many more will get involved. Queen Mary hopes to promote and celebrate the work of clinics internationally across its networks, while spotlighting the perils of fast fashion.
Fast fashion can be defined as cheap, trendy clothing that samples ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture and quickly turns them into garments in high street stores at breakneck speed to meet consumer demand. The idea is to get the newest styles on the market as fast as possible, so shoppers can snap them up while they are still at the height of their popularity and then, sadly, discard them after a few wears.
Queen Mary’s event will provide guidance and information to help students make more ethical and informed decisions about fast fashion and what they wear. Organisers said that this year they wanted people to examine their personal carbon footprint.
One of the main activities Queen Mary will be organising on the day is a Fashion Swap. From looking at the use of finite resources and the heavy carbon footprint produced by the fast fashion industry, the clothes swap seeks to highlight the exploitation, particularly the low wages workers in developing countries are given to produce fast fashion.
Last year, the centre focused on plastics and the problem of plastic pollution. A group of Queen Mary Law students organised a litter pick across Queen Mary University Mile End campus, and Mile End Park. This year, they wanted to do something a bit more personal.
Meghan Mizen, the Community Projects Coordinator, said: “We would love if you could participate by donating any pre-loved items of clothing that are in good condition or by coming along to the event on the day to exchange your clothes for tokens to purchase other pre-loved items that catch your eye. It is a win-win for your purse and for the environment.”
If you want to drop off items prior to the event date, all you need to do is head over to the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre, on the ground floor of the Laws Building, and hand over your items to a member of staff.
Any items that are not purchased with tokens will be donated to local charity shops. Located at 327 Mile End Rd, London E1 4NS, the centre is accepting donations from now until November 17. It is open Monday to Friday between 9 am and 5 pm.
In addition to the Fashion Swap, the centre will also be hosting a quiz and treasure hunt on the days preceding the Global Day of Action.
Gbemisola Obolo, who is leading the event, said: “The main purpose of the quiz is to inform and educate students about environmental law and labour laws that address or fail to tackle fast fashion. The select few who answer most questions correctly will get to take part in a lucky draw with prizes.”
The lucky draw to announce the winners will be conducted on the same day during the Fashion Swap event. Organisers will be sharing more information about how to participate in draw in the run up to the event.
In 2019 the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre proudly signed the Law Clinics’ Pledge for Climate Change.
To find out more information about the global initiative.
To sign the Climate Change Pledge: Global Day of Action for Climate Justice Pledge (google.com).