Thursday, June 17, 2010

All about The Education

When discussing issues of sustainability, especially with those who do not seem to care much about it, pretty much 99% of people also follow that comment by saying that they know very little about it. Which makes complete sense, how can you be passionate or inspired or responsible for something if you don't know exactly or don't have a specific understanding about what it is?

I am sure that if I knew more about football, if I knew the history and background of the world cup, players, games, manager - and how he selected the England team, I'd be hooked to the remaining world cup fixtures. As it is I know only the bare minimum about the sport (not even offside rule) and therefore watching, talking and reading about it brings no pleasure.

When living and studing in a communtiy around people who are already inspired and knowledgeable about sustainability issues (and acting upon them in everyday life) it is hard to take myself out of that and look at the population as a whole. However, as I do so I realise I am in a minority.

The majority of people that share my passion for issues regarding the fashion industry and the environment have come from a creative background, where making and sewing in whatever capacity has been a part of thier lifestyle. Learning these skills allows you develop them and adapt them for every day 'real world' needs. Sewing on a button, replacing a zip, sewing back a hem. All these little changes that the younger generations of today are seldom taught at school, as design technology takes many other forms and pressures on timetable organisation does not prioritise such subjects. However, I feel that the lack of sewing education for schoolchildren perpetuates the lazy attitude towards consumption - that of fast fashion. Many children who don't leave school with sewing skills and who aren't taught by family are less likely to consider mending and may find it harder to take responsibility for their clothing (i.e throw it away at the first sign of wear and tear), and also find it difficult to add creative value to the garment themselves (through customisation and creative alterations).

Throughout my research time I really want to speak to as many people as possible to ask why sewing skills have faded within curriculum, and aim to get sewing skills back into schools and taught in an exciting and relevant way to all schoolchildren.

If you are a textile design teacher or head of a school that would like to pursue further textile workshops please get in touch!

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