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'Wear and Share': How our students are giving clothes a new lease of life

News and Features
An interest in giving clothes new life and taking steps to make the fashion industry more sustainable are just some of the reasons why Jasmine and Chris decided to create the 'Wear and Share' project. 


The story behind ‘Wear and Share’...


Jasmine Orr
The project is about sustainability and giving clothes, new life. As well as this, it was a way of getting people together and trying to save the environmentally by making sure less clothes go into landfill.

Chris Robinson
It focused on the environmental impact of fashion and the detrimental effect that the fashion industry has on water and landfills. We go through a phase of fast fashion; we only wear something a few times. It's in perfect nick, but we've been seen in too many times, so we'll just toss it in the bin rather than throwing it away, we're giving clothes new life. Just because you've wore a jacket or a shirt 10 times doesn't mean I can't wear it another 10 times. Then it be donated again for someone else to wear it 10 times, really aim towards like, more of a sustainable approach.

Jasmine Orr
It gives people who can't afford new clothes a chance to get them in some way or another. Not everybody has the money to just throw at new clothes. Everyone loves the new clothes feeling, but a lot of people can't afford it, which means it's an opportunity for them to trade in clothes that they probably wouldn't wear again for something new.


United Nations sustainability goals


Chris Robinson
We did sustainability talks from September to November, which talked about the United Nations sustainability goals and just small things that we could do in everyday life in order to make a larger impact. Then the implications for our careers and in business. We took one of the most common issues, clothing, something that is very accessible for anyone from any age, especially when you have like 16 year olds plus at Belfast Met. Through this project we've met the United Nations sustainability goal, but we've also offered something that's very easy to maintain, there's no complexity to it. Hanging clothes up, bringing clothes in, it replenishes its own stock, and also creates an environment where students are welcomed, students can join, and it gives us a chance to collaborate with other students as well through different courses like videography, fashion and business.



Our project is beneficial for all students


Chris Robinson

Personally, it's given us a great insight into a more hands on approach to business. We had to take into consideration where are we getting our budget from? How much do we need? What are we spending it on? Health and safety, we're going to have people coming in and how are we going to approach this? What's our risk assessments, what's a contingency plan if something goes wrong, and pretty much encompasses everything we've learned from September up to this point, rather than just looking at a PowerPoint or watching a video, it gives us a physical element. Depending on the way you like to learn, for me that's more beneficial because I prefer more of a hands-on approach.

Jasmine Orr
It's not only beneficial for us, it's beneficial for the fashion students as clothing goes to them. The mechanics course in Millfield and Castlereagh can get rags that won't be taken away and photography students as they come and take photos and it's good experience for them. It helps bring stuff into their portfolio which will be beneficial for their course.



Let’s reduce the stigma around branding


Chris Robinson

For me, it shows that not everything has to be for profit. Like that's the name of the game of business. Everyone wants to make money, but it's also giving back. Something like this on a larger scale could benefit local communities and low income families. Another aim this project has given me is to remove the stigma around branding, we're all in this together, we have one chance to help everyone and change the planet. Even for our career paths and choices I think that should be one of the top priorities even if we start our own business in the future. What are the steps that we can take that yes, we can benefit by making a profit, but what can we give back to the communities and the environment on top of it as part of our corporate social responsibilities,

Jasmine Orr
It also helps you realise that not everything has to be brand new. It's okay to go and buy something second hand and it reduces the stigma around that, as well as giving you the goal of sustainability. Instead of spending lots of money on a top, trade in one of your old one, they don't have to be expensive or brand new, just good condition.



Project based learning is extremely beneficial


Jasmine Orr

It helps you get a bit of experience, and it can help change people's minds about brand new clothes doesn't have to be brand new. It's okay to wear second hand things. A lot of people probably do have second hand items, they're just too afraid to admit it and our project is there to help reduce this stigma.

Chris Robinson
It's the inclusivity that comes with it as well. We are solely Business students but it's bringing other people in for project-based learning. I sat and talked to people who are studying videography, they were able to show me how they do that, I talked him about the business side. Also, because it's a student run environment, we're all on the same level, we're all here to help one another out. Project based learning in my opinion, is something that needs to be implemented for everything. It's great having paper theory, paper exams, but when you're put into the real world, you have to hit the ground running and what better way than while you're studying.

Jasmine Orr
Sometimes sitting behind the computer doesn't give you all the experience, you need. Project based learning helps you figure out what you want to do, do you want to sit in an office all of your life? Or do you want to be working outside or traveling?



Belfast Met teaches maturity and respect


Jasmine Orr

It's just a great experience and you meet new people. I just came from Secondary school, this is my first year and you make great people. You're treated with the same respect that you give to your tutors. You get experience that schools won't give you.

Chris Robinson
It's a very inclusive environment as well compared to the likes of schools. I'm the oldest on this course, but it doesn't matter, everyone has that mutual love and respect. We're all here for a common goal. We're all here to support and benefit one another, help one another out. Students' Unions is fantastic, they are there if you ever need them. They've launched the free period products, there's a big push towards if you need help with mental health. There is always a helping hand, you're not drowning, you just need someone to help lift you up and Belfast Met is great that way. They offer a very wide range of courses and I've never regretted studying business.

Jasmine Orr
Belfast Met teaches maturity and respect, in my opinion, something you won't learn as well in school because of how you're viewed. We're taught maturity, independence and how to respect our Tutors. We're given the independence we need to grow because you don't grow if someone's holding your hand.

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