Student voice 16 Mar 2020

Redressing textile waste one wardrobe at a time

By Ruwaida R and Angelina M (grade 11)
Photograph by CIS Communications

CIS X REDRESS is a CAS initiative, led by four grade eleven students partnering with REDRESS who are a Hong Kong-based environmental NGO; in order to actively engage the CIS community in making informed choices about their wardrobes.

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without”, this New England proverb dictates our ideal lifestyle where our decisions do not include living our lives like there is an Earth 2.0. 

Informing our community

The club promotes REDRESS’s campaign as an environmental charity to prevent and transform textile waste in order to catalyze a circular economy and reduce the fashion industry’s devastating air, chemical and carbon footprint. CIS X Redress provides students with an opportunity to learn about textile waste and build their skills in designing clothes for its defining exhibition in October. All those torn, unworn and discarded clothes will be given a new life to inspire the CIS community (and the on-trend fashion statement which upcycled clothes entail).

Leading the fight against textile waste

Our responsibilities in saving our home should also entail making conscious fashion choices. The fashion industry is one of the highest waste producers in the world; in 2018 Singapore generated 219,800 tonnes of textile waste!

A practical and engaging approach

Initiating a CAS project involving sustainable fashion and styling was a refreshing and new area of approach that no clubs in CIS had previously offered. As students who are deeply investing in the impacts of our choices who had an opportunity to create change, we undertook this challenge wholeheartedly. With already two weeks of meetings, more than 30 secondary school students involved and donation boxes out for unwanted clothes, we have started our sewing and stitching lessons. We introduced our members to the basics of sewing machines where they can explore their interests and build motor skills. 

Up for the challenge!

As a leadership team of four, our CAS project demands collaboration, a variety of management skills and learning attitude. Embarking on this journey together has been an exhilarating experience and wouldn’t have been possible without the support of one another, our peers, and our supervisors Mr Mitchell and Ms Hosick above all.

It’s one thing to dream of change but another to feel the power and confidence that comes with initiating change that inspires lives for the better. The exhibition in October, where our success will be reflected In the eyes of our CIS community, will hopefully motivate the community to practice a more sustainable lifestyle.