4th, 5th, and 6th Class were visited by a volunteer from Sustainable Living Initiative Waterford as part of the Global Schools Waterford programme, along with some students from transition year in the Ursuline Secondary School and Mount Sion Secondary School, in late January and early February 2020.
The boys learned some interesting and eye-opening things about the fashion industry, such as the fact that it is the third largest user of water in the world, behind oil and paper. We were all stunned to hear that it takes around 10,000 litres of water to make one pair of jeans!! And it takes around 3,000 litres of water to produce one cotton t-shirt. The classes also heard how factories use lots of different chemicals and dyes to produce clothes, and these chemicals and dyes can leak into streams which people drink from, which is very dangerous for people drinking the water. In some parts of the world, dogs have turned blue because they are drinking from water that has been polluted by dyes and chemicals.
Some of the solutions that we can all help with to reduce the effects of fast fashion on the world would be to buy less clothes, wear our own clothes more than just a few times, shop in charity shops, or maybe even make our own clothes. A discussion followed about needs and wants - we don't need more and more clothes, we want them. Fashion is not a need to survive. So we will need to rethink our approaches to buying clothes in the future. The boys in the classes learned lots from the workshop. Thanks to Global Schools Waterford, supported by the Sustainable Living Initiative, for visiting St. Stephen's with this very worthwhile workshop! Some photos from one of the workshops are in the gallery below: