[RESMYLE] [RESMYLE] Raising awareness on sustainable development... Easy!
Thanks to RESMYLE, you will soon have access to an online resource platform to develop awareness-raising activities on sustainable development with the young people you accompany.
Today, we give you a sneak preview of the activity "Route of my Jeans"!
This activity aims to raise awareness about eco-consumption. Through a concrete example of a product resulting from globalisation, we make young people aware that Jeans have passed through different countries for its production (countries they may not have travelled to yet), which leads to pollution and has various social impacts. This activity is an opportunity to take a critical look at one's own consumption and to discover the concept of ecolabels.
In front of a group of young people, you present a pair of jeans and work together on the theme of consumption and globalisation.
Preparation step and materials (about 1 hour):
- Provide you or print out a world map - https://www.mapsofworld.com/world-map-image.html ;
- Bring a pair of Jeans with a label containing information about its production: country of production, materials present etc. ;
- Prepare 10 envelopes with samples of materials (cotton, spool of thread, blue powder (this can be dry paint), pieces of Jeans, sand, elastane (a piece of elastic), zip, button (1 envelope is needed for each material) ;
- Have a list of the Human Development Indicator (indicator of the level of development of the countries) of the countries concerned (the list is Benin, France, Italy, Japan, Namibia, Pakistan, Tunisia, Turkey - if necessary you can add other countries) - http://hdr.undp.org/en/countries.
Implementation step (2 hours):
- Step 1: Ask the young people the following questions - 5 minutes :
Where are these jeans produced?
Where are they distributed/sold?
The young people answer the questions by placing a coloured pin on the map to locate it visually.
What materials are used to make these Jeans? (To you, keep the following answers: cotton, metal, plastic, wool, sand, etc.).
You can specify that materials with a "strange" name such as acrylic, viscose, polyester etc. are a type of plastic and it is made with the material "oil".
- Step 2: Animation - 20 minutes :
In order to make the activity fun, we have arranged the different materials in envelopes. Ask the young people which countries these materials come from.
For more information:
- Cotton: produced in Benin
- Yarn spool: cotton spinning mill in Pakistan
- Blue powder: indigo dyeing in Italy
- Jeans: cutting and assembly in Tunisia
- Sand: washing in Turkey
- Elastane: polyester fibre introduced in Japan
- Zip fastener: made in France
- Button : brass from Namibia
For each material and therefore associated country, place a coloured pin on the card.
For each country, it is possible to illustrate the production conditions with photos to be projected or printed.
Examples of cotton production pictures (1 and 2) and sand washing
Using a coloured string, join the pins on the map to see the route of your Jeans. It is possible at this stage to calculate the number of kilometres travelled by the Jeans for each stage (you can ask the young people to use their mobile phones to calculate the actual distances) and to discuss the mode of transport of fashion products (boats, planes, roads) and their impact on the environment. To do so, you can draw inspiration from other resources (videos and other materials):
- Step 3: Analysis - 20 minutes :
Go back to each country and give the Human Development Index of the country (explain the concept if necessary).
This information is reflected in the price of textiles. In this way, the group gradually becomes aware of the societal and environmental impacts of textile manufacturing and distribution. This step also addresses the issue of the unequal distribution of wealth.
For a pair of jeans costing 35 euros (average price found in international chains) :
- 15.75 euros for the retailer
- 14 euros for the brand
- 1.75 euros for transport
- 3.5 euros for the production cost
- 1 euro for the basic salary of workers
It is possible to introduce the notions of environmental labels or ecolabels. The notion of ecolabel can be defined as a quality certification to establish whether a product or an actor has a reduced impact on the environment.
The following eco-labels can be taken as examples:
- European Ecolabel (awarded to packaging and products that do not degrade the environment)
- FSC (guarantee that the wood used in the production of the products comes from a sustainably managed forest)
- AB (certifies that a product is indeed from organic farming)
- Max Havelaar (certifies that the producers have been fairly remunerated for the production of the raw materials, while offering a quality and environmentally friendly product).
- Step 4: What are you doing with your old Jeans? - 15 minutes
This is the last question to ask young people. You can list the answers given on a flipchart.
This will enable you to discuss the notions of repair, reuse, recycling, etc. and the various solutions that exist locally.
The materials you will need to carry out this activity are 20 pins, 1 pair of scissors, 1 pair of jeans (cut the pocket (elastane), zip and button), 10 envelopes, 1 marker, 1 flipchart paper, coloured string, some cotton, a spool of thread, blue powder (like dry paint), a few pieces of jeans, 1 zip, 1 button and sand.
At the end of the activity and in order to assess whether the young people have become aware of the elements discussed and especially to know whether a change in behaviour will follow, you can ask the following question: Are you going to change anything in your consumption (checking the brand's production processes, reusing, recycling, repairing, etc.)?
This activity has been inventoried thanks to the availability of the document Waste Prevention and Education of Ile de France region in partnership with Graine Ile de France - page 7 to 10 - available only in French - http://www.graine-idf.org/sites/default/files/contenus/guide_animations_BDEF.pdf
RESMYLE is a project which aims to rethink the employment and social integration of Mediterranean youth through sustainable development.
To learn more, visit our ENICBCMED webpage.