This non-profit is offering free sustainable fashion and history classes for BIPOC communities — here's how to sign up

When you buy through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more.

  • The Slow Factory Foundation is a non-profit committed to finding climate change solutions that intersect with social justice and fashion.
  • From February to June, the organization is offering free online classes in fashion and history, all designed for Black, Brown, Indigenous, and minority ethnic communities.

The Slow Factory Foundation is a non-profit organization focused on generating climate change solutions and systemic change for regenerative social and environmental justice through fashion. Since 2013, it’s partnered with other non-profits, academics, and global brands to facilitate education, design, and community programs in the fashion industry.

As part of its purpose-driven platform, the organization currently runs an open education institute featuring “Equity-centered education for Black, Brown, Indigenous, and minority ethnic communities.” 

For the new Winter/Spring 2021 semester, virtual classes are being offered in fashion and history, as well as a master class series. All of the classes take place at 12PM EST and are free, but donations are welcome to enable the foundation to continue providing accessible education. 

Below are 14 classes that are now open for registration: 

Fashion And …

Fashion And Colonialism:

This class examines the current practices like sourcing, manufacturing, and exporting waste that replicate colonialism and exploitation in fashion — and explores potential solutions. 

Start date: February 12

Instructor: Céline Semaan, a Lebanese-Canadian researcher, designer, public speaker, entrepreneur, and the co-founder and executive director of Slow Factory Foundation.

Fashion And Waste:

The Kantamanto Market in Accra, Ghana case study is the foundation of this class which takes a granular look at fashion’s waste crisis. 

Start date: February 19 

Instructor: Liz Ricketts, a designer, educator and co-founder of The OR Foundation, a USA and Ghana based non-profit working at the intersection of environmental justice, education and fashion development. 

Fashion And Culture:

Fashion is a critical part of culture. Learn the best practices for impacting culture through fashion and how culture moves the needle. 

Start date: February 26

Instructor: Tracy Reese, a fashion designer and founder of the sustainable clothing brand Hope for Flowers.

Fashion And Spirituality:

The fashion industry has seemingly embraced spirituality in recent times as evidenced by its gravitation towards yoga wear and making leggings a must-have item. Examine fashion’s adoption of religion — and whether there is room for improvement. 

Start date: March 5

Instructor: Hawa Arsala, a cultural anthropologist and creative director. 

Fashion And Resistance:

Learn how fashion can be used as an agent of positive social and environmental change in this class about combating repressive systems through culture, history, knowledge, and art. 

Start date: March 12

Instructor: Korina Emmerich, founder of the Brooklyn-based clothing brand EMME Studio

Fashion And Prison Labor:

This course explores the issues surrounding creating sustainable fashion using prison labor and what abolition of this system would mean for the fashion industry. Topics for discussion include the history of prison labor as it relates to economic domination, the clothing produced in prison, and brands that have used and continue to use prison labor to manufacture garments. 

Start date: March 19

Instructor: Teju Adisa-Farrar, a Jamaican-American writer, poet and geographer.

Fashion And Cultural Heritage:

This class focuses on preserving Indigenous fashion practices like embroidery, weaving, and pattern-making.

Start date: March 26

Instructor: Yasmeen Mjalli, creative director of Nöl Collective, a feminist and political fashion collective based in Palestine.

Fashion And Reproductive Health:

Start date: April 2

Instructor: Erica Chidi, founder of LOOM, a sexual health and wellbeing education platform.

History of …

History of Plastic:

This class explores the invention of plastic, how it came to be so ubiquitous, and if we can ever recycle it all.

Start date: April 9

Instructor: Theanne Schiros, PhD, an Assistant Professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology and a Research Scientist at Columbia University.

History of Regenerative Agriculture:

Soil health helps sustain a vital living ecosystem that supports our very existence. This class takes a closer look at the foundational principles of regenerative agriculture, its Indigenous origins, and its impact on the fashion industry and city planning.

Start date: April 23

Instructor: Karen Washington, founder of Rise & Root Farm, a five-acre co-op farm in the lower Hudson Valley.

History of Spiritual Activism:

Buddhism is the world’s fourth-largest religion and at its core is spiritual activism which has played a significant part in helping to build movements in social and racial justice globally. Learn more about this practice and its daily application in this course.  

Start date: April 30

Instructor: Jungwon Kim, who runs the creative and editorial team at the Rainforest Alliance, an international nonprofit organization focused on sustainability and human rights.

History of Cotton:

As the fashion industry moves towards more sustainable fashion organic cotton has been subject to greenwashing by many brands while disregarding its history. This class looks at the genesis of cotton, its roots in colonialism, and the difficulties still facing communities of color worldwide. 

Start date: May 7

Instructor: Teju Adisa-Farrar, a Jamaican-American writer, poet and geographer.

Master Class Series

System Design:

Creating sustainable fashion involves valuing workers’ rights and social welfare. That means designing supply chains, products, and systems with human rights in mind. This course shows students how to design without compromising their integrity and in a way that reflects their values. 

Start date: May 21

Instructor: Abrima Erwiah, co-founder and director of Studio One Eighty Nine, the founder of Fashion Our Future, and a professor at Parsons School of Design.

Critical Media Literacy:

People use different criteria to decide which media outlets and social media platforms are credible. This course will explore the concept of critical media literacy and why it’s crucial for media consumers to understand its nuances. Foundational media theories like framing will be discussed and students will be introduced to tools for a “healthier” critical media literacy regimen. 

Start date: June 11

Instructor: Maytha Alhassen, Ph.D., a historian, journalist, social justice artist, and mending practitioner.

Sign up for Insider Reviews’ weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals.

You can purchase syndication rights to this story here.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Reviews team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at [email protected]

Source: Read Full Article