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Brainstorming and Teamwork for Solutions

Buddies Without Borders Online Forum on the topic of Fashion is now entering the height of the competition. Students must work across time zones and availabilities to brainstorm solutions to solve the challenges in their assigned country. From sweatshop concerns to landfill pollution - students are quick to identify ways that governments and big companies must do better.

Meanwhile, what about the consumers, including you and me, who are behind the demand for these fast and cheap productions? How do we address the perception that "new = good?" What do we say to those who want affordable but trendy clothing that is paraded by the influencers? What about the rich who can afford to pay top dollar for luxury items that they may be tired of weeks later?

Students are going through these arguments and more, and exploring perspectives and answers. Here are some of the observations and inquiries to share with you:

"... Rana Plaza (...) housed several garment factories producing clothing for major fast fashion brands. The building was known to have structural issues, but garment production continued.  In April 2013, the building tragically collapsed, killing over 1,100 garment workers and injuring thousands more... highlighting the human cost of cheap clothing and the need for greater transparency and ethical production practices." Tú Anh Dịp from Tran Phu Gifted High School (Vietnam)

"... a lot of clothing is also causing a significant impact of increasing washing can we stop those microfibers from coming back in our drinking water systems?" Anne Iwatsuki from Shonan Shirayuri Gakuen (Japan)

"... finding an alternative to traditional leather is an area that has seen a lot of innovation, given that the livestock industry as a whole is responsible for an estimated 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions...." Belén González from Saint Andrew’s School (Bolivia)

"... (Boer Group) operates a system that collects and reprocesses discarded clothing and sells it in recyclable or reusable form. There is a misconception in most of society that the clothes thrown into the recycling bin are collected from there and distributed to those in need. Since Boer transparently presented the paths of recycled clothes to people, it has largely eliminated this false belief and provided confidence." Ceylin Gündoğdu from Vali Muammer Güler Sosyal Bilimler lisesi (Turkey)

In addition to these thoughtful inquiries, the Forum Scorer, Miyu Sakurai (NYU), has also identified the following students with the best posts: Ayush Sankaran from Jamnabai Narsee International School (India), Sriya Ramesh from Blindern videregånde skole (Norway)

Prachi Agarwal from DRS International School (India).

Please join us in acknowledging these young thinkers for their enthusiastic and amazing contributions so far. We look forward to learning about their proposals in the weeks to come. After all, everyone can have ideas, but who can win the hearts and votes of their peers? More to come.

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