Where do you go shopping for your clothes? What do you look for when shopping? Are you looking for something high-quality that is made from sustainable materials or a cheap piece? Based on the fact that most clothing widely consumed today is fast fashion, it’s safe to assume that most answer the last question with the second option. With low prices and trendy looks, the enormous fast fashion industry has taken over the world with brands such as H&M, Zara, Uniqlo, and Spao. However, fast fashion is creating a deadly cost for consumers to pay. With detrimental environmental effects and the damages suffered by sweatshop workers, fast fashion is a ticking time bomb behind what seems, to the consumer, like a “good deal”. With this global issue in mind, I decided to join Layla Hernandez, a fellow 11th-grade student who is in the Eco-Club with me, to make an awareness campaign to contribute to the fight against fast fashion, which led to the creation of Shoot for the Planet.
Layla and I found common ground in our passion for the crisis of global warming. One specific issue that we were especially interested in was how much waste the fashion industry was and continues to produce. By digging deep, we learned disturbing facts about the textile industry and the ugly specifics that weren’t presented to the public This made us think of ideas of how to spread awareness on this issue as well as how to give a helping hand. After months of planning, which involved many cycles of throwing away ideas, and refurbishing them, we developed a fundraising activity called “Shoot for the Planet”. We were aiming for a fun and entertaining way of collecting money, and also needed to take into consideration that COVID-19 is limiting us to mostly outdoor activities. There was one answer: basketball. We had a basketball court in front of the place we eat lunch and we would always watch kids dribbling the ball competitively and making layups with a huge smile plastered over their faces. This was the start of Shoot for the Planet, an eco-friendly basketball game.
|[Screenshot of our project included in the morning announcements
for the American School of Barcelona. Photo courtesy: Yujin Choi]
Shoot for the Planet was a campaign that used basketball to donate to anti-fast fashion efforts. This plan was to continue for two months, with the main purpose being disseminating knowledge of the lack of reusable clothing and the linear economy (an economy where raw materials are taken for products to be made and are discarded as waste once used, igi-global.com) behind fashion. We ended up holding the basketball challenge for three days, December 2nd to December 4th during lunch. Both students and teachers were allowed to participate (for a paid fee), with the goal being to score as many baskets as possible in one minute and 30 seconds. The top two scorers and one raffle-selected individual would win a prize. All students that participated were automatically entered into the raffle in order to give everyone a fair chance of winning regardless of their basketball skills. Proceeds will be donated to HUMANA People to People, a multi-national sustainable second-hand clothing organization that aims to help the environment through ethical fashion.
|[Student participant. Photo courtesy: Yujin Choi]|
Within three days of participation by students and teachers of varying levels of basketball skills, we were able to make around 100 euros! This was a miracle for me and Layla, since we were both afraid from the start that people would not take our fundraising attempt seriously. I remember the first day, which I spent worrying about whether we would have to initiate our “plan B” in case of lack of a participants. Luckily, we had 27 participants in ttotal, which may seem like a small number at first glance but, is actually a satisfying record considering how we were limited to only students from our grade participating due ASB’s COVID-19 rules.
What we realized through Shoot for the Planet was that with effort, passion, and a message that you truly believe in, any goal can be achieved. This realization further inspires us to continue our project and lead an eco-friendly environment in our school and hopefully even to a larger community. We are currently working on hosting another Shoot for the Planet event in the spring or summer and are making posters in the meantime to further educate the ASB community about the crisis that is global warming, especially in terms of the fashion industry’s intentional misuse of its power to prioritize profit over the environment.
Next time when buying your new cozy coat or a tropical shirt for your summer vacations ask yourself “Am I contributing to unethical fashion? Do I need it? Will it last?” before your new piece for your wardrobe because unknowingly even right now you might be contributing to climate change.
Junior (Grade 11)
American School of Barcelona
Yujin Choi email@example.com