peoplewear

Behind The Scenes: 7 days with Fashion Revolution’s Laura Francois

April 28, 2018

Today is the Grand Finale for Fashion Revolution week in Singapore! An event solely run by hard working volunteers and coordinated by Laura Francois.

Laura is a front runner in her field. With her expertise within social impact, sustainability and circular economy, she holds a CV any green entrepreneur would die for. But, her journey is one that contains incredibly hard work and perseverance, something her diary from the past 7 days illustrates well!

Join Laura, while she presents a circular economy talk in Hong Kong, launch a project to highlight waste in the Fashion Industry and most importantly: prepare Fashion Revolution Day in Singapore!

Day 1 – 21st April 2018

The week ahead is one highlight of my year: Fashion Revolution Week. But before this is going ahead, I am presenting about Systems, Thinking and Disruptive Design for Circular Economy at Green Is The New Black’s UNCONFERENCE in Hong Kong.

I really love giving presentations, especially with a tight knit audience that is eager to participate and engage in conversation! I became really passionate about the circular economy about a year ago and have been exploring ways to re-design systems. I was really honored to be invited to Hong Kong to speak about this with the Green Is The New Black team! They did an amazing job at highlighting sustainability in a variety of ways, and definitely put on an amazing marketplace too!

Day 2 – 22nd April

Last year, I met Von Wong while giving at TedX talk in Malaysia. He’s an incredible photographer, and decided we wanted to work together on a project to highlight waste in the fashion industry.

The project is called ‘Clothing the Loop’, and though I had been working on this project for over a year, I stressed my way to finish the website and tie up loose ends before the big launch day! I spent the rest of my time in Hong Kong and the entire flight back to Singapore making sure everything was set and ready to go! I didn’t even have a logo at this point, so thankfully my dear friend and environmentalist Natalie Sessier helped me create on in less than half an hour! It’s a circle I drew by hand, it’s not perfect, it’s very human. And that’s so much the essence of the project.

A big sigh of relief. We might be ready for the launch on after all! I’m excited but also so scared to know what the world will think of the story. Will people understand the mission? What will they think of the art pieces? So many thoughts I can hardly sleep.

Day 3 – 23rd of April

Awareness is the name of the game for Fashion revolution in Singapore. Our amazing marketing queens (Mahima and Susannah) are busy engaging with brands to post ‘I Made Your Clothes’ photos on social media. It’s the greatest way to show the faces and stories behind the clothing and fashion pieces we buy. We spend a lot of time this week encouraging consumers, people like you and I, to ask brands #WhoMadeMyClothesand post a selfie with the tag of their t-shirts (see my own at the top), tagging their favourite brands to ask this question. Today, the Fashion Transparency Index is released, showing which brands are most transparent. It’s a great place to start the conversation with consumers about how important transparency is.

Day 4 – 24th April

It’s Fashion Revolution Day, and we remember all those who lost their lives in the devastating collapse of Rana Plaza, a large clothing factory in Bangladesh. It’s an incredibly important day worldwide, as the Fashion Revolution movement encourages us all to ask #whomademyclothes and demand for a fairer, safer fashion industry.

As the coordinator of Fashion Revolution in Singapore, I was asked to comment on the progress made in the last 5 years. I’ve never been on live TV before, and can’t help but feel the nerves. Also, I’m not used to wearing so much makeup, especially at 5AM!

Finding food vendors for our Fashion Revoution event has proven difficult! We’re crowdsourcing for ideas to bring snacks and drinks to the event! It’s been a challenge to find vendors that are sustainable and available during a beautiful long weekend in Singapore (small detail we neglected, it’s a long weekend for most and everyone loves to travel!) If this week could make a sound, it would sound like the ‘DING’ of my inbox telling me of yet another email! ​

Day 5 – 25th April

The Fashion Revolution Singapore committee is an amazing group of women who volunteer their time to the movement. Each of them care so deeply about the people and planet connected to the fashion industry, they are designers, entrepreneurs, activist. I feel so lucky to work alongside them! It’s never easy when times are busy and everyone is volunteering as much extra time and energy we have! Our biggest event of the year is next Saturday and we’re gearing up to a very packed day of activities. We meet at least once a week to make sure everything is on track.

We’re collaborating with The Green Collective, a beautiful new sustainable shop and co-working space in Singapore (above picture). Adel (Taikenzonsai and Fash Rev member) is putting together an amazing gift basket for our Fashion Revolution contest! We love to collaborate with like minded folks to share the message of sustainability in Singapore. It takes a lot of time to coordinate sometimes, but it’s worth it in the end.

Day 6 – 26th April

Study day. Earlier this year I decided to go back to school part time and invest in learning and exploring social impact strategy. I’m really passionate about figuring out ways of doing good, better. It’s not always easy to find time to get my coursework complete on time, and it’s a challenge to return back to ‘student mode’ after many years. But I love figuring out how to apply what I’m learning in class to my work and creating my own frameworks to social impact!

Day 7 – 27th April

We’ve been lucky enough to have an amazing venue sponsor, The Hive Lavender. The last day of the event is running around like madwomen to ensure that we’ve set up the space for our big day! 100 chairs, clothing swap racks, fashion show spotlights and so much more. Who needs to go the gym when you’ve got an event to set up? Elisa (Fash Rev member) rushes back from the printer’s with our posters and banners, and we’re almost there…

Join Fashion Revolution in Singapore today: Saturday 27th April 2018:

Clothing Swap by Swapaholic
11am-3pm

Textile 101 Session by TaF.tc (Open for all)
1130am-12pm

*Workshops*

Natural Dye and Shibori Workshop by Mai Textile Studio – 11AM to 3PM (Sold out)

Orizomegami Workshop hosted by Mai Textile Studio – 11:30AM to 12PM & 12:30PM to 1PM

Stitch & Mend Workshop hosted by Agy : Textile Artist and Taikensonzai- 11AM to 12:30PM

The Leather Scap (Off-Cut) Challenge hosted by Lisa Teng Studios – 11AM to 3PM

*Screening, Panel and Fashion Show (OPEN FOR ALL)*

Award winning Documentary Film screening, RiverBlue
3pm-4pm

Panel discussion on the circular economy of fashion in Asia hosted by Green Drinks Singapore
4pm-5pm

A sustainable Fashion Show hosted by conscious online retailer ZERRIN
6:15pm -7pm followed by a mixer

Register here:
https://fashrevsingapore.peatix.com/

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