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One-day ethical fashion school opening soon!

2014.05.03 Momoko Miyahara

We consume all kinds of products every day. But when you choose what product to buy, what are some of the criteria you keep in mind? In the past, the 2 key criteria were price and quality, but in recent years, ethical criteria such as eco-consciousness, safety, and working conditions in factories have become increasingly important.

In the fashion industry, low pricing and short product lifecycles have become prevalent, so people and even in many cases children in countries that manufacture these products like Bangladesh and China are forced to work for unfairly low wages, long hours, and in unsafe, hazardous environments. I'm sure it's still fresh in your memory, but only about a year ago, on April 24, 2013, a garment factory building in Bangladesh collapsed and over 1,100 people died.

We've begun to see words like "ethical," "eco," "fair trade," "organic," "sustainable," and "guilt free" in the fashion industry. But many consumers may not have a concrete image of what this all means.

On May 10, a one-day school that teaches people about various aspects of ethical fashion, the "Ethical Fashion College" opened (located at the IID Setagaya Manufacturing School). The subject on opening day was "cotton" and this year, the World Fair Trade Day was on the same day, so it really was a perfect day to start thinking about ethical fashion. The school is organized by the denim brand, "Lee," that has been committed to organic materials and fair trade, and ACE (Action against Child Exploitation), a non-governmental, NPO based in Japan that addresses the issue of child labor around the world, and the classes welcome the fair trade brand, "People Tree," and an organization that encourages girls to take action, "Over the Rainbow," fashion journalist Ms. Yoshiko Ikoma, and other companies, organizations, and individuals promoting ethical fashion. The school also offers workshops that provide opportunities to experience tie-dying, yarn spinning, working with fabrics, as well as other enjoyable programs like fashion shows, movies, and yoga.

Spending time at this school may change the way you choose your clothing.

A message from Mr. Hidekazu Hosokawa (Lee Japan), the principal of the Ethical Fashion College.

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Art & Design, Peace

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Tokyo,Japan (Japan

Momoko Miyahara

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