Following in the footsteps of the Primary School PTG and their Uniform Upcycling Program, which was recently shortlisted for the International Impact Award at the prestigious British International School Awards, student-led club Greenr Minds have decided that the time has come for the Secondary Campus to become a part of this fantastic initiative.
Why uniform upcycling is so important...
An important part of BIS HCMC’s image is the uniform. When you see the clean, crisp, white shirt paired with the beige skirt or trousers, you get a sense of the strong community that BIS conveys. The uniform is a large part of the school identity. However, there is an underlying issue that students can sometimes forget: the amount of clothing that is used. Every school year students get 5 new shirts, 3 new bottoms, a new PE shirt and two pairs of PE trousers. After a few years at BIS, as you might imagine, this results in a lot of redundant clothing gathering dust on students’ shelves.
Imagine how much clothing each individual student naturally wastes through growth and wear and tear - not only uniform but general clothing, as well. This accumulation not only has a negative impact on one’s wallet, but also the environmental effect is detrimental. In fact, ‘[For the growth of natural fibre]) more chemical pesticides are used for the growth of cotton than any other crop.’ These chemical pesticides can then leach into water sources damaging aquatic life. On top of the growth of natural fibres, non-natural fibres are grown in large amounts from petrochemicals which ‘releases nitrous oxides - a greenhouse gas 310 times more damaging than carbon dioxide.’1
As society continues to expand and consumption rises, the negative implications will only worsen. We therefore need to make an active change to decrease our clothing waste here at BIS HCMC.
The story so far...
The Primary PTG's take on the issue was innovative and effective. Their idea inspired Greenr Minds to integrate upcycling into the Secondary Campus. Greenr Minds hopes to make the Upcycling Program a long-lasting initiative so that students can purchase recycled products that utilise their old uniforms.
They started off small - just collecting house t-shirts. However, they see big things ahead for upcycling, as they will shortly start collecting other articles of clothing. At the moment, their main work with upcycling is the Product Design Competition; a house competition in which students are required to come up with innovative product ideas for old uniforms. This Competition was created as a way to spread the message of upcycling and create interest among the student body.
The Competition requires students to form groups of up to four and to work together to come up with a product design for the old school uniforms, such as tote bags, jackets, plush toys and more. This design sketch can be made either digitally or by hand. Once completed it can be delivered to Mr. Pedro Roman’s room: Room 224 or it can be emailed to Mr. Roman (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the 2nd March 2018.
Winners for the competition will be chosen from a variety of different categories:
- Aesthetic Appeal
- Ease to Produce
The winners will then be announced on 9th March 2018! The winning design(s) will then be produced in collaboration with the PTG.
Participation in this house competition promotes a good cause so that active changes can be made. Greenr Minds hopes to inspire many BIS HCMC students to make a change and the upcycling campaign is only the first step in reducing clothing waste in the long-term.
The time for irresponsible clothing waste is up! Join the efforts now!
Written by Annie Joshi, Founder and Leader of Green Minds
1"The Environmental Impact Of Clothing - Huffington Post UK." 14 Dec. 2016, http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/sam-williams1/the-environmental-impact-_1_b_13546078.html. Accessed 27 Jan. 2018.