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US and Canada: Events to look out for during Fashion Revolution Week’s 10th anniversary

By Rachel Douglass


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Credits: Fashion Revolution

Fashion Revolution Week is almost upon us. The organisation is gearing up for its 10th anniversary year, with 10 days of global action and locally driven activities set to take place from April 15 to 24.

The theme for this year, ‘How to be a Fashion Revolutionary’, draws inspiration from the efforts of Fashion Revolution’s global community over the last decade, exploring what it means to be part of the movement and putting on a pedestal those who are behind social and environmental justice initiatives.

In a release, acting managing director for Fashion Revolution CIC, Rudo Nondo, said: “The story of Fashion Revolution is one of community. Over the last 10 years, our grassroots movement has grown into a fully fledged Global Network across 75 countries and counting.

“Together, we have brought the people who make our clothes to the forefront of the conversation, pushed for greater industry transparency and mobilised countless citizens and policymakers to take action.

“In the lead up to Fashion Revolution Week 2024, we will look back to look forward and invite Fashion Revolutionaries, new and old, to get involved with our next 10 years of fashion activism, guided by the learnings from the last decade.”

Here is what events will be taking place in the US and Canada.

Mend in Public Days

Mend in Public Days look to bolster the awareness of slow fashion through what Fashion Revolution dubs as “creative protests”. Open to the general public, each event will have skilled helpers on hand to guide guests, all of which are asked to bring an item in need of repair, as well as - for some locations - needles, thread and fabric scraps. Local businesses and vendors are also encouraged to participate, either by providing pre-loved clothing for repair or upcycling or offering food and drinks to those in attendance.

There will be a number of these events held across the US on April 20, including in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Truth or Consequences, New Mexico; New York City, New York; Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; and Lexington, Massachusetts. In Canada, a Mend in Public Day will be held in Christie Pits Park, Toronto, and Escale Circulaire, Montreal.

A Texas fashion revolution

From April 21 to 22, the Central Texas Fashion Coalition is inviting the public to take part in two days of slow fashion sessions and “community enrichment”. The event, hosted by Fashion Revolution ambassador Lucy Hassel, will be held in CTFC’s studio on 305 Washburn Street, Taylor, and comes with a 25 dollar charge.

Meanwhile, in Dallas, the city’s Fashion Revolution team will be presenting The Dallas Slow Fashion pop-up on April 20. Here, local vendors active in the slow fashion sector will be on display in a space housed at Olmo Market. The event will begin with the opening of a market, during which a Slow Fashion Panel will also be hosted.

14 Hours by Janelle Abbott

In Seattle, Washington, artist and performer Janelle Abbott will be hosting a six day long performance to demonstrate the “daily lived experience of garment workers across the globe”. Dubbed ‘14 Hours’, in reference to the length of time employees work per day, and beginning April 13, Abbott will quilt together two pieces of deadstock fabric reclaimed from a local garment manufacturer, with one piece to be created per day. Those finished will then be sold or auctioned, with the majority of the proceeds “going to support garment worker’s rights and reparations”.

Abbott noted in her event description that she would only be compensated for each piece based on the average daily wage of a Bangladeshi garment worker, at about 3.50 dollars.

Educational workshops

In Toronto, Canada, there will be a number of workshops held throughout the week to provide a more educational approach to the event. From April 16 to 17, for example, Contemporary Textile Studio Co-op will be hosting a Textile Banner Making Workshop, where participants will be tasked with creating a protest banner focusing on art, fashion and social change. At the city’s public library, meanwhile, the organisation will be presenting a Youth Sustainability Workshop dubbed Exploring Fashion’s True Cost. On April 17, visitors can participate in educational discussions and storytelling, as well as workshops to provide the next generation with sustainability tools.

Fashion Revolution Québec will also be at the centre of an educational event in Montreal’s Escale Circulaire, where in collaboration with broadcast platform WaterBear it will be presenting the three-part documentary series ‘Redress the Future’. In the new series, the organisation explores the work of innovators “subverting the status quo” and moving against the “outdated” business models of today. In the same location on April 22, Anaelle Nedelec is hosting a workshop aiming to raise awareness on the social and environmental repercussions of the textile industry. Participants can choose between the “climate fresco, the circular economy fresco and the textile fresco” for the three hour workshop.

Clothing swaps and fabric donations

There will also be a number of circular fashion opportunities for those in Winnipeg and Vancouver, Canada. In the former, Fashion Revolution has invited the public to join in a clothing swap, mending and patching event in The Forks EQ3 Lounge on April 20, while Vancouver’s Our Social Fabric fabric recycling space will be behind a fabric donation drive event. The public is being called on to bring donated fabric or sewing supplies to the store in return for a 10 percent discount coupon to be spent that day.

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