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Where can you “Wear Justice” if you have nowhere to go?

Students and faculty might not be on campus for the rest of the semester, but the Center for Justice and Reconciliation is still working hard to engage the people of PLNU in their annual Wear Justice Week. The Point talked to CJR via email about the importance of “wearing justice” and all they have planned for the week of March 30-April 2. 

In this Q&A, CJR is represented by Ryana Contreras (HT-RADAR Conference Coordinator) and the CJR student staff members Morgan and Bridget.

The Point: Wear Justice focuses on justice and sustainability in the fashion industry, but not everyone is familiar with or cares about fashion. Why should people get involved with this movement? And what are the best first steps toward “wearing justice”?

Center for Justice and Reconciliation: Whether or not someone cares about fashion, we all wear clothes. This movement is shedding light on the reality of the unethical practices most stores are using. There are people and resources being used to make our clothes that are being treated unfairly. 

The first step one could take would be to learn where they should shop and avoid shopping. Support ethical companies by looking at those available on the ‘Good On You’ website. We will be posting educational content during Wear Justice week that will provide one with more alternatives and information.

TP: How is CJR transitioning Wear Justice to a virtual event? And how can students best participate?

CJR: Although we will not be able to have an in-person Wear Justice event this year, the CJR has worked tirelessly to transition to a fully virtual event! We are bringing this week’s events to wherever you are through our instagram @PLNUCJR. Each day, we will be giving away two prize baskets with amazing, sustainable prizes for participants. 

(We also have graphics for these events instead of text here)

On Monday, we will be uploading engaging content to our Instagram about the fast fashion industry. Students can participate through sharing our Insta post on their story and tagging their friends by 6 p.m. Each participant will then be entered into a randomized drawing to win a sustainable prize pack.

On Tuesday, we will be sharing how students can support small businesses during this time of COVID-19. Students can engage by commenting how they are supporting their favorite small business and tagging the business in their comment by 6 p.m. They will then be entered into a randomized drawing to win a prize pack full of goodies from small businesses.

On Wednesday, the CJR will be hosting “Drink Justice” – the ‘Virtual Edition.’ We will be sharing reviews of local, ethical coffee and tea companies on our story. Students can participate through sharing our post and tagging friends by 6 p.m. Participants will be placed into a randomized drawing for a chance to win Patagonia gear or a sustainable starter pack.

On Thursday, we are hosting a screening of “The True Cost,” a documentary about the fast fashion industry. Students can watch the film here by signing in with their PLNU username and password: http://pointloma.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://docuseek2.com/v/a/Ff94 

To be entered into a drawing for either Patagonia gear or two Disneyland tickets, students must complete this google reflection form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1oA6yCacKksZpjVIfQSts4F0Mg6WhOwwQxZ811dbrmmc/edit by 9 p.m. 

On Friday, we are having Fri-D.I.Y! We have already mailed out 100 blank canvas tote bags for students who expressed interest in Wear Justice. The students will show off their craftiness by decorating their tote and sharing their creation on their instagram story and tagging @plnucjr by 8 pm for a chance to win Disneyland tickets or a Patagonia product. Students can also engage and be entering in the drawing by sharing one of their own handmade creations!

Tune in to our instagram (@PLNUCJR) throughout the week of March 30 – April 3 to support local and ethical businesses, learn more about how to combat fast fashion, and explore your creative side! 

TP: What are some pros and cons of having Wear Justice Week 2020 during quarantine?

CJR: The biggest con is losing the personal interaction of the event. My favorite part of Wear Justice is the clothing swap, and that’s pretty tricky to do while separated. Part of the fun is seeing how everyone individually contributes to the big picture of sustainability. 

However, quarantine is teaching us a lot about simplicity, and Wear Justice partners well with that concept. During this time, we have to think about what we need over what we want, and that ties into our consumption. 

One awesome aspect of Wear Justice is that it gives students a lot of options to participate in from home, from DIY projects to movies to watch, all emphasizing care for people and our planet! 

TP: Does CJR do anything related to Wear Justice throughout the rest of the year?

CJR: Yes! Although Wear Justice is only a week long event,  it truly is a culmination of what we do year long. Wear Justice highlights the topics of ethical and sustainable consumption, Fair Trade, as well as worker & labor rights, but the CJR works to inform students of these topics in other ways too! 

Each December the CJR puts on our ethical Christmas fair, Roots of Giving, on caf lane to teach students about being better consumers during the holidays. We invite local and ethical vendors to sell their products, and overall create a space where students can easily put these good practices into action!

Every month or so, we also host our Brewed Awakening events bringing in highly regarded speakers to discuss topics such as these more in depth. Additionally, as part of our Ambassador program, our student teams dive deeper into conversations about these topics with their peers. 

Not only is this great in helping our students to better understand the realities of what’s going on in the world, but it allows for them to learn their role within this as well as how they can insight change within their spheres of influence.

TP: What has PLNU accomplished through past Wear Justice events?

CJR: Wear Justice began as a simple notion: let’s have a conversation about changing the script of consumption in a way that honors and respects the people who create our clothing. It started those crucial conversations about consumption, and highlighted simple ways to reduce impact on human trafficking in production and pollution. 

The Center for Justice and Reconciliation team put together a week of events to engage students in that conversation and provide a space to put these concepts into practice. The fair followed the “Buy-erarchy of Needs,” which encourages consumers to first use what you already have, then borrow, swap, thrift, or make before considering purchasing any new clothing items.

Students brought hundreds of clothing items to swap with others, and everyone who brought clothes to swap left with something new to them. Fair-goers could also repair clothes, or purchase fair trade items that helped support women who had fled from trafficking in Cambodia. 

The event also included a fashion show featuring entirely thrifted outfits, a screening of The True Cost, and a raffle featuring fair trade items. Last year, the CJR team added another aspect to the week, Drink Justice, featuring a fair trade tea and coffee tasting event, as well as an anti-trafficking art contest. The event was a huge success, and drew in hundreds of students and faculty. It opened up space for conversations and questions surrounding fast fashion, and created new avenues to consume consciously.