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. First out is Yamê Reis.
Yamê Reis is a Brazilian sociologist and fashion designer. She is currently a coordinator and teacher at Istituto Europeo de Design in Rio, and is the founder of the International Forum Rio Ethical Fashion.
- How would you sum up your research / practice?
As a fashion designer educator I see myself as a collaborator, a facilitator, and an activist for the change. Researching and practicing come together, we learn through building new products that are based in new materials, new models of production and business that promote welfare for the people and for the planet.
- How do you address fashion and sustainability in your work?
I guess that learning about sustainability is about first of all changing mindset, and having a critical understanding about how our society benefits from inequalities and environmental damages. This has to come along with the teaching of Sustainable Fashion.
- What are the conflicts you have encountered around fashion and sustainability in your work?
The most difficult for the new professional generation is to change the way of life with less consumption and to build a new business circular model.
- What do you consider the key sources and cases when it comes to fashion and sustainability?
What helps me most as sources for teaching are Fashion Revolution as an activist global movement addressing the work conditions and social justice, and also the SDGs as a framework to approach the whole picture of the economic challenges we have to face as individuals and brands.
- Could you recommend some less known sources or cases you think should be more widely shared?
As a source I’d recommend the new report from Textile Exchange about Sustainable Materials,“ Material Change Insights Report 2019 – the state of fiber and material sourcing.” I’d suggest FARFARM as an innovative Brazilian case on Agroforestry for developing new fibers like cotton, juta, malva and others. It regenerates forests and avoids deforestation and monocultures, preserving biodiversity besides revaluing the traditional knowledge of local communities.
Thank you for your insights Yamê!