Reading Time: 3 minutes

Environmental and Ethical Action

http://cheapclothesforacause.com/

For my media advocacy project, I will be creating a website campaign with fundraising through second-hand clothing sales on Poshmark. The main educational aspect of the campaign will be to discuss the ethics and environmental issues surrounding fashion, especially fast fashion. I have already begun creating my Poshmark webpage, but I need more clothes in different sizes, so part of the campaign is encouraging people to donate their old clothes. People donating the clothes will be able to decide what each item should be priced at, and all of the proceeds will be donated to different campaigns. The primary focus of the campaign will be to educate people on how much clothing is thrown out each year (85% of all textiles made), ways to donate clothes that are not still wearable, and a list of clothing brands that are not ethical/environmentally friendly. Next, with each purchase, people will have the option to choose which go-fund me campaign or organization they would like to support.

I chose six organizations to work with: The Environmental Defense Fund, which tackles the environmental crisis from a financial/business standpoint, The Navajo Water Project, which directly works with Native Navajo people to get them the resources they need and is currently doing a lot to aid with the pandemic, The Immigrant Worker Safety Net Fund, which aides migrant workers who are uniquely vulnerable in almost every way, Feeding America, which is a national food bank that ensures every American be provided food, UNICEF, which helps protect children around the world, and Renewable World, which is working to make renewable energy more affordable and common.

The original data I collected was in regards to which platform has the most engagement on the issue of ethical consumption of fashion. I used the keywords fast fashion, ethical fashion, environmental fashion, fashion industry, and any related terms I could think of and found that Instagram was by far the best platform for this issue. Twitter had many people talking about each issue, but there was no organized group with a following over 1,000. Facebook had a couple groups and consistent use of the hashtags, but the largest group I found had a 5.2k following. Instagram, however, had over 628k tags on just one hashtag and many profiles dedicated to the issue, the largest having approximately 8,000 followers. This information heavily influenced my decision to promote the website primarily through Instagram. I am going to reach out to the profiles and see if they can share the website and encourage their users to donate. Then I will likely try the same with Facebook, but I think Twitter is a no go as of now.

I tried to make the webpage as easy to follow as possible so that my audience wouldn’t be limited to just those who commonly use apps like Poshmark and Instagram. The message is clear to all who see it, and will hopefully encourage viewers to at least stop purchasing from unethical fast fashion brands. There are links on the website that connect all three platforms together. I think if I could get donations from more age groups and genders, the fundraiser aspect of the site would be more effective. I will be working to share it with my social media following, encouraging friends from all walks of life to do the same. I think that creating a chain through friends is the best way to make sure as many people as possible actually engage with the site.

The unit of our class dedicated to activism and educational campaigns mostly influenced my project. I made sure to be clear with my messaging, have a clear organizational concept, and I was consistent with both the information and the purpose of the site. I think by illuminating the issues with one of the largest industries in the world and providing an alternative option, there is actually the potential for change. I became even more excited when I discovered that there isn’t anything like this set up yet that I could find. Hopefully, I can form an engaged community through clothing exchange with the collective goal of raising money. I am very excited to continue building this platform in the coming months and seeing where it goes.