UCRF – Member of the Month – Vinit Jain

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Member of the Month

UCRF is running a ‘Member of the Month’ feature on this blog, where a member, selected at random from the membership database, is sent five questions to give us all an overview of our members. Our third participant is Vinit Jain.

  • How would you sum up your research/practice?

I am a designer, and research has been an intrinsic part of my life. My journey as a researcher in sustainability started over a decade ago with my quest to understand and know this term and field, which led me to learn the concepts of sustainable design and Sustainable Development. This long journey continued to reinforce my understanding that fragmented views lead to contradictions and the fixed ones hinder exploration. Besides, we ought to follow the natural system as we are a part of it. My latest significant research in the field of sustainability and fashion focused on the value maximization opportunities from resources and the development of a circular business model that supports realignment of the current waste generating Apparel Consumption System (ACS) with the natural system.

  • How do you address fashion and sustainability in your work?

Fashion—a psychological need that has been exploited and used to accelerate consumption for economic growth which in turn has made sustainable fashion an oxymoronic phrase. I try to exercise my ability to see the things as they are, without any intrinsic or learnt biases and then connect the fragments to propose improved solutions to make sustainable fashion a reality. We all know that the fragmented solutions and quick fixes often lead to broader issues, and I try to stay away from them as much as I can while continuing to be a part of the system that is not yet regenerative.

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A question from the glossary working group

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Activities / Blogroll

What do we call a word glossary with an aim to change systems?

Words. We use them so freely. We use them every day to communicate. But words are not mere descriptors. They are part of a journey that indicates our history and has a power to foretell our future. Language matters. Words affect us. They empower us. They educate us. They have the power to trigger change. We create a vocabulary with these words. 

Since April this year, some of our members have  taken the task of compiling a living word book of terms we use in fashion every day. Though the primary language of this compendium is English, we are delving into the origin of such words, in different native languages used by our members too. Do share your comments on this task. 

What would we call the product of an exercise of this nature …?

UCRF Companion to Systems Change 
UCRF Companion of Fashion Keywords
UCRF Keywords of Systems Change
Clavis: UCRF Companion of Systems Change in Fashion*
*Clavis – a key or glossary serving as an aid to interpretation

Vote on these names or suggest one yourself.

PayUp Fashion Launch

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Associated events / Blogroll

UCRF Board is happy to draw the UCRF membership’s attention to a recently (soon to be) launched campaign, PayUp Fashion. UCRF supports PayUp Fashion because it outlines a new roadmap for worker engagement, developed by the workers themselves.

because it outlines a new vision for the fashion industry that centers garment worker voices, elevates worker rights as the centerpiece of fashion’s rebuild, and lays out concrete, actionable steps for change developed by the workers themselves.

PayUp Fashion is the next phase of the highly successful #PayUp campaign, which won $20 billion for garment workers from brands and retailers who cancelled orders since March. This new phase of the campaign amplifies the often overlooked and dismissed voices of workers and demands that brands and retailers not just #PayUp, but also commit to living wages, transparency binding agreements, and to ensuring that workers have a seat at the table when supply chain issues are discussed and negotiated.  

In doing so, PayUp Fashion displaces the dominance of industry-led marketing for sustainability and broadens the public’s understanding of what a transformed fashion industry could look like and how to get there.

UCRF has long questioned the capacity of brand lead actions to truly transform the fashion sector.  Who better than the workers themselves, to develop a new roadmap for worker engagement?

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About the Union / Blogroll

The Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion (UCRF) was formed in 2018 by Kate Fletcher, Lynda Grose, Timo Rissanen and Mathilda Tham (in alphabetical order).

The formation of the Union was brought about by the realization that over the last thirty years sustainability in fashion has been an industry-led movement and as such, has been constantly framed within business, without asking questions about the nature of business itself.

We recognized that this has severely narrowed approaches to fashion and sustainability, has widened the divide between commerce and the capacities of nature to support commercial activity and has resulted in more, not less, degradation of clothing makers and the earth. 

We questioned if business was truly capable of making the changes necessary to transform the industry and saw a need to steer a smarter better debate about fashion and sustainability.

We also recognized that researchers’ tradition of: seeking out truth; critical discourse; full disclosure; ontological thought, was desperately needed, and that researchers were better equipped to hold trust for the common good and the sector more broadly (of which the industry is one part).

We aim to provide language, action and modes of working that are precise in their critical identification of issues  and open ended in their responses, rather than muted by corporate risk analysis and closed to all but that which is actionable within the current sector.

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Local Assembly India

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Blogroll / Local Assemblies

We are glad to announce the first meeting of UCRF Local Assembly India which is convening online in the light of coronavirus restrictions.

This event is open to all, but please mark your presence here: https://forms.gle/AjLh94wxYxCRvQ8h9

Date: Saturday 29th August 2020
Time: 5pm – 5:40pm IST
Location: Zoom chat (Please download zoom and familiarise yourself with the App)

For meeting login details please email bvkdelhi at gmail.com