• Eirini Sampson

A Conversation About: Fashion Revolution Greece Summer School



I, like many, know about Fashion Revolution’s work. I found out about you on social media and later learned more about the amazing organisation by volunteering with the Greek branch for six months. For those who don’t know Fashion Revolution and FR Greece: could you tell us a bit more about the organisation, how it all started and what FR Greece does?


Fashion Revolution is the biggest global movement and is active in over 100 countries through Fashion Revolution Country Coordinators (CCs). Fashion Revolution is fighting for a safer, cleaner, fairer and more transparent fashion industry responding to the unprecedented pollution caused by the industry and violations in human rights of workers. We are designers, producers, makers, workers and consumers. We are academics, writers, business leaders, brands, retailers, trade unions and policymakers. We are the industry and the public. We are world citizens. We are a movement and a community. We are you.


We love fashion. But we don’t want our clothes to exploit people or destroy our planet. We demand radical, revolutionary change.


Fashion Revolution was founded in 2014, at the wake of the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013. Since then, it has grown to become the world’s largest fashion activism movement, mobilising citizens, brands and policymakers through research, education and advocacy.


FR envisions a global fashion industry that conserves and restores the environment and values people over growth and profit.


Find our manifesto here: https://www.fashionrevolution.org/manifesto/

FR Greece is an experienced ‘fashion revolutionary’ researcher, educator and campaigner for the last 7 years in Greece. FR is one of 12 best practice case studies identified in the European Commission’s Mapping Sustainable Fashion Opportunities for SMEs (2019) report. In 2019 289 million people from all over the world participated in Fashion Revolution Week. FR proved that when dedicated citizens come together to Make the Connection with climate change they manage to touch thousands of people.


FR Greece is a registered office of Fashion Revolution Global and is governed by the volunteer network of the National Coordination Team, the Senior Advisory Board of Trustees, City Leaders, Friends and Collaborators, Influencers and Ambassadors throughout Greece. The City Leaders network is active in Alexandroupolis, Athens, Chalkida, Crete, Kos, Ioannina, Larissa, Lesvos, Thessaloniki.

The FR Greece community consists of:

  • Facebook (116K followers FR Global while FR Greece has 4,4K followers and 700 followers on RYV festival FB page).

  • Instagram (523K FR Global while Greece has 2,7K followers).

  • Twitter 57K followers Fr Global while FR Greece has 626.

  • A newsletter mailing list consisting of 8K subscribers.

  • FR Greece is also coordinating two Youtube channels, one Linkedin channel and two websites.


What role does FR Greece play in the Greek sustainability industry?


FR Greece has been leading the reformation of the industry through our initiatives and programs since 2013. The activities we run concern advocacy and monitoring (consumers, change makers, fashion industry, policy makers), education (knowledge creation, evidence collection and dissemination and exchange of knowledge), and collaborations (communication, (co)creation of events and media, platforms construction).


Greece had a strong textile and fashion industry, which peaked in 1975-1995. In its peak years, 25% (2.5 billion euros) of the country's exports came from the textile and clothing industry. The industry's workforce employed 200,000 people, 20% of the total workforce. Since 2015 the industry has been gradually recovering (Manifava, Money Review, 8/6/2021).


FR Greece first began its operations at the end of 2013, its programs include the following.


Fashion Revolution Campaign which seeks to increase public and industry awareness around the issues caused by the fashion industry on three key theme messages, namely onditions (#whomademyclothes), Composition (#whatsinmyclothes), Consumption (#lovedclotheslast #haulternative) building on the global Fashion Revolution campaign strategy. It includes:

Digital Campaigning with the use of quotes, infographics, stats and branding of yearly Global FR campaigning assets translated in Greek where appropriate

Digital Campaign with the public.


Annual Fashion Revolution Week & Raise Your Voice Festival have been active since 2014 in Athens and other cities. In 2020 we had the first digital festival on climate crisis and trafficking in human beings, with more than 27K people being actively involved, and was co-organised with 53 civil society organizations.

In 2018 the Raise Your Voice Festival implemented in Technopolis Athens, with a reach of 175K people through FB, 4000 visitors, co-organised by 52 NGOs, 300 artists and professionals active participants both locals and migrants, supported by 14 media sponsors and many journalists


Curated FR events during our partners’ events all over Greece and abroad, incl. Athens Fashion Film Festival, Vegan Life Festival, Reto festival in Prato Museo di Tessuto, Green Style Festival in Munich, Ozon Fashion Question Time, Reworks Music Festival, Zero Waste Festival, Hellenic Platform for Development 17D17SDGs, etc


Fashion Open Studio Celebrating and Showcasing best practices in the industry

FR Live S-pitches series on instagram and FB

Fashion Question Time: advocacy with policymakers and relevant ministries


Partnerships: Collaborations with Foundations, International Organizations and Ministries, Partner with NGOs, active collaborations with 55 NGOs & Media partnerships with more than 14 media houses and various journalists to disseminate Campaigning messages and events.


FR Greece has worked closely with Athens University of Economics and Business Management Science Lab since 2015. Since then, Athens University of Economics and Business has been coordinating a series of European sustainable fashion and textile management projects in collaboration with Fashion Revolution Greece and international actors.


The first European circular fashion accelerators ‘Small But Perfect’.


The online educational program ‘Social and Sustainable Fashion Entrepreneurs- SOFE’, which has trained 215 participants from all continents. http://sofehub.eu/


The first Sustainable Fashion Summer School in collaboration with leading Universities and sustainable fashion institutions in the USA, Europe and Latin America.



Since we have given the reader some background, let’s talk about what we came for: for the first time, Fashion Revolution is launching the Sustainable Fashion School. Could you tell us more about the structure of the programme and the organisers?


Sustainable Fashion Summer School in Greece

An educational journey of sustainable fashion global game changers centred on global trends and cultures.

Fashion Revolution Greece and Athens University of Economics and Business inaugurate the first Sustainable Fashion Summer School in collaboration with FR USA, FR Global, FR Local Offices, Lasell University and leading Universities and sustainable fashion institutions in the USA, Europe and Latin America. An international educational event brings Greece to the centre of the international community of Sustainable Fashion every June from the summer of 2022 and online throughout the year.

Fashion Revolution Summer School in Greece is a yearly programme offered by the Athens University of Economics and Business offering the following:

  • Professional Certificate in Sustainable Fashion Management (3weeks)

  • Graduate Program in Sustainable Fashion Management (3 weeks- 5/6 credits)

  • 3day Fashtech Hackathon event

  • 1 week shadow to circular fashion best practices (optional)


The Summer School, together with the teachers, professionals, and students, will travel in 6 cities in Greece, between 6 to 26 June. This will occur in concurrence with the provision of a holistic educational experience from the experts in the field and students will gain knowledge and experience in the field of textiles and circular construction in Greece. Starting from Thessaloniki, we will move to to Kilkis, Corfu, Kalamata, Mani and Athens, and students will visit fashion venues of the entire supply chain from raw material production to circular manufacturing for the application of sustainable practices in the sector, archaeological sites and monuments of cultural heritage.


Over 25 top educators from institutions from the U.S. and Europe - for example: the Fashion Institute of Technology, the Pratt Institute, the University of Exeter, St. Martins, London College Fashion, the Institute of European Design - will travel with us in June 2022 for the 3-week educational program that will be delivered to graduate students and industry professionals from all over the world.




FRSS is delivered by global experts in the sustainable, circular, and ethical fashion and textile fields and created around a holistic experience of sustainable living and the coalescence of future practices within the fashion and textile industries.


The topics of the program of study include:

  • Sustainable Design & Materiality

  • New Business Models, Circular Manufacturing & Logistics

  • Digital Fashion & FashTech Hackathon, Heritage & Ethics

  • Policy


You can find more about Fashion Revolution Summer School http://www.fashionrevolution.gr


Who does the programme appeal to?


The program appeals to those who want to acquire the novel skillset and tools specialising in sustainable and circular fashion while accessing critical research and networks necessary to thrive as fashion revolutionaries.


PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT


Are you a stakeholder, executive, or collaborator in the clothing, footwear and textile industry and want to upscale to sustainable, circular, ethical fashion processes, models, and systems? Join our professional certificate Fashion Revolution Summer School program.


GRADUATES DEVELOPMENT


Are you a designer, researcher, artist, architect, or a student that wants to become a leader in Sustainable Fashion and join in the core development of facilitating change and generational needs that will reshape our global fashion systems? Join our accredited Fashion Revolution Summer School program.

To join the FRSS at the Student Program→ Register here


To join the FRSS at the Professional Program→ Register here


Deadline for submission 15th May 2022.


What are the core values that the Summer School represents?


The vision of FRSS is to create an educational hub with the aim to:

  • attract global experts, educators, policy makers, fashion designers, entrepreneurship schools and people who are sensitive to environmental and global issues such as human rights;

  • educate future leaders of sustainable fashion and support entrepreneurs with sustainable start-up start-up ideas at any stage of the supply chain and the textile sector;

  • foster the creation of high-quality networks between experts, professionals, managers, entrepreneurs and students of the sustainable fashion industry.



What is the objective of the programme and what will students and professionals alike learn from this experience?


The objectives of FRSS include:

  • The promotion of renewal and progress in the fashion and textile industry, through the Fashion Revolution Summer School in Greece.

  • Contributing to the development and sustainable development of a new generation of social and sustainable businesses in the fashion and textile industry, including:

  • regeneration of textile products;

  • development of recycled fibres;

  • new B2C consumer platforms on circular economy principles;

  • new business models for sourcing and manufacturing.

  • Supporting young people and professionals to acquire the necessary knowledge and stimuli for access to networks, as well as for the creation, development and transformation of businesses in the fashion and textile sectors, such as addressing issues of climate change, defending human rights and cultural preservation that are seriously threatened by the existing fashion and textile industry.

This international educational program aims to provide experiential learning and engagement of transparency practices within and related to the fashion industry and the geographical appreciation of Greece’s landscape, cultural heritage, craftsmanship, and sustainability resources. Students will be exposed to a variety of topics from business to design, materiality and textiles on all stages of the sustainable fashion supply chain from raw materials, fibres, textile development technologies and recycling to new business and sales models, circular manufacturing processes and emerging consumption patterns.


Students and Professionals will have the opportunity to:

  • Learn and apply the latest sustainable innovations in the fashion industry:

  • how to use sustainable materials, upcycling and other processes in fashion design;

  • how to use the new technology to attract customers, to apply the needed skills, to formulate networks and generally how to grow your business using digital technologies.

  • Build stronger resources for compliances, innovative solutions and transparent circular system approaches to support global UN SDG goals and fortify company CSR outcomes.

  • Extraordinary academic assembly by international experts.

  • Engage and learn inspiring best practices.

  • Join with local artisans in their studio spaces as we travel through Greece.

  • Create a new network.

  • Connect as a global game-changer in fashion.

  • Raise awareness on the impact of the industry to the planet and human rights.

  • Raise awareness on the human rights violations in the industry.

  • Raise awareness on the real value of craftmanship and heritage techniques and learn how to embed in their processes.

  • Creating a platform for online learning to increase access to training programmes and materials.

What inspired the creation of this innovative programme?


We are living in a climate emergency and the fashion and textile sector is one of the most polluting and wasteful industries. The true environmental and social cost of our clothes is high. Clothes and textiles are the No1 source of primary microplastic to the oceans accounting for 34,8% of the global total. Fashion is the 2nd industry in risk of labour trafficking (GSI, 2018).


Over the last three years, the 250 major global brands and retail chains are making a big shift towards sustainable fashion in search of solutions to production and textiles and raw materials. They increase their transparency by an average of 12% per year (FTI, 2020), 47% publish their list of first tier factories and 11% their list of raw material suppliers (FTI, 2021).


Furthermore, traditional Greek textile and fashion production techniques as well as symbols of Greek culture as sources of inspiration have known in recent years an international recovery and recognition. Similarly in recent years we see some Greek designers and Greek luxury brands gaining an international presence and recognition.


So, it seems that there is an ever-increasing need for education and support offered to new industry comers, to young designers, artists and technology professionals/entrepreneurs, as well as existing industry professionals and enterprises to transform to the new paradigm of circular, sustainable and ethical fashion and textile industry in Greece. There is also a great need to link these new and existing entrepreneurs and designers with the global ecosystem of the sustainable fashion and textile industry. Both objectives are primary goals of the Fashion Revolution Summer School.


Last but not least, although there are a lot of programs on sustainability in general, there is a lack of sustainable-fashion-related ones with some of the existing programs on sustainable fashion being: AUEB ‘Social and Sustainable Fashion Entrepreneurs- SOFE’ (the first University led educational program launched in 2015), “Small But Perfect”, being one of the first European Circular Fashion Accelerators funded by EU, new program SDA Bocconi University ‘Sustainable Fashion Branding Program’ 6-weeks online 2,000€, Harvard ‘Sustainable Fashion’ 7-weeks online program 3400$ non-credit undergraduate and graduate, FIT NY ‘ESL/Sustainable Design Entrepreneurs’ 3-weeks certificate program 1450$ & IED Barcelona ‘Summer Course in Sustainable Fashion’ 2-weeks 1850€ 5 credits.


For all the above reasons, Athens University of Economics & Business is joining forces with Fashion Revolution Greece, Fashion Revolution Global & USA teams, and global Education Institutions to offer the first Fashion Revolution Summer School (FRSS) focusing on global fashion game-changers and newcomers.


To join our programme, register here:

https://greece.frmicrosites.autonomic.zone/en/frss-student-registration/


You can find more about Fashion Revolution Summer School here:

www.fashionrevolution.gr


Social Media:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FashionRevolutionGreece

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fash_revgr/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/fashion-revolution-greece/