Local Assembly Buenos Aires, Argentina

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How to accelerate sustainability from the integration of unheard voices?

April 7, 2021, the first UCRF Local Assembly in Buenos Aires took place with 23 participants started with to opening questions:

Why is the process towards sustainability in textiles and fashion so – so – slow?
Who are the voices we are not listening to?

Some of the reflections:

  • Fashion is a very permeable industry for people who want to do business, explore their creativity, without any specialization, only trying to find low prices of production, and earn money while enjoying designing. The industry and this way of approaching fashion supports inequality, and unsustainable fashion.
  • The industry has on the one hand the large conglomerates that need to always have positive results. However, on the other hand, it has a consumer, after pandemic 2020, who had time to question themselves, so now, the door opens again to different possibilities. It is also slow because it is immeasurable, the environmental, the economic, and the social aspects are very complex, the value chain is in different countries and transoceanic, while the triple impact of the industry is very heavy.
  • Fashion belongs to the industry, and the industry is the one that is not sustainable. And those who are not heard are precisely those who make sustainable fashion, those voices are lost. The social sphere is indicated as the most serious problem in the fashion system. Different stages: Stage of production of the raw material, and second stage, the making of the garment. Look for the local, find the balance in the crops, raw material that is not plastic, seek that plastic is no longer used. The greenwashing of the circular economy, which is not enough to address the problem in a real systemic way.
  • Education, lack of training in sustainable design issues, lack of professional training, even in the initial school levels of sustainability issues. Consumer education. Finding the point to transform the industry, business models. Educate towards sustainability at all levels. Industry permeated, the social permeates industry, industry slows down processes, it cannot stop and start over. When basic needs are barely met, can a consumer choose? Detached from native people, from the feeling that is aligned with nature and the values ‚Äč‚Äčthat would lead us to act from another side.
  • Society and culture of consumption, where more is preferred for less price. There is a change, a progress, but still everything is thought from this logic. Lack of consumer education. The consumer who does not demand different ways of doing.
  • What is missing are the voices of Artisans, there is a lack of workers in the industry, an active role is missing to be able to move towards sustainable and more transparent practices. Community focus.
  • Deep lack of sustainability knowledge. As a student, there are no training spaces in sustainability. There is a lack of support for the teacher to educate himself. Teaching work very undervalued. We do not listen to those who produce from other contexts, at other times and in other ways. How we connect and how we promote our training towards other ways of doing things?
  • Need to rid off the 3R and recycling. There is an intention to educate on these issues, but it is very superficial. Recycling is not the solution.
  • Entrepreneur networks, give space to those who work in sustainability, generate construction spaces. It is necessary to listen to those who do innovation.
  • The LATAM region is a very rich region in resources and they are undervalued. We do not have figures in the sector that allow us to map these issues.
  • The artisanal is also woven into an economic perspective, the introduction of synthetic anilines in the twentieth century depleted a great wealth of knowledge and years of dyeing knowledge. Today, artisans to respond to the demand apply anilines, although spaces are beginning to emerge that seek to continue contributing from nature. The change in scale leads the artisan to seek to accelerate their processes.

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