Yes, it is that time again! It is the Union’s yearly collaborative wikipedia edit-a-thon!
Like in the last two years, the date is 26th February. So on Friday 26th 2021 we will revisit the “sustainable fashion” page on Wikipedia to add and update its content. The page is an entry-point and resource with an average of 300-500 daily visits (depending on the seasons). Over the years, we have managed to get this page to not primarily be an archive for greenwashing brands and mixed misinformation, but now also be a resource for peer-reviewed articles and books. While there is a continuous source of edits on what brands are “good” and so, the UCRF cannot police the edits, but we try to keep the information as reliable as possible. We are happy the page can serve as a legitimate entry point for everyday users into sustainable fashion. However, of course, there is still a lot to do.
Now, on February 26th, we hope volunteers from the Union membership can yet again collectively manifest an ‘activist knowledge ecology’ by editing the sustainable fashion page on Wikipedia. Being a recurring yearly event, we hope to help wikipedia lead curious people towards good sources.
Our diversity is our unique contribution. Use your expertise and make small edits to improve the subtopic you think is in need of better articulation. The fiber section needs improvement and we also need more discussions on supply chains and regenerative agriculture.
We also hope our globally dispersed members could take on to update the page on the topic of sustainable fashion beyond the English version. So if you are uncertain, start fixing the page in your native language.
Members of the UCRF board will be active between 3pm South Africa / 1 pm London / 8am New York to 11pm UK / 6pm NY / 3pm SF. During these hours we hope to see you on our shared online forum.
Here’s a guide to getting started editing on Wikipedia:
1. Familiarise yourself with how to edit a Wiki page. I recommend the resources here: http://www.artandfeminism.org/editing-kit/ (these pages focus on gender, but the underlying editing issues are all relevant). There are some Wiki principles to familiarise yourself with and some basic editing tools that will help you.
2. Open https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Sustainable_fashion and click edit.
3. Create a Wikipedia account if you want to. It is your choice, but it often helps when getting your edits through the process of the wikipedia editors. There is some guidance available to help you make various decisions by following the links.
4. Open our designated chat room and meet whoever is online https://meet.jit.si/RuthlessBearsLaughRuthlessly There will be a host in the chatroom throughout the session. The chat room has been set up to enable interaction between the editors whilst the editing is live. The host will greet you and be available for conversation. It is unlikely the host will be able to answer all questions, but will help figure out the answers where possible.
5. Choose a section to edit on the Sustainable Fashion Wikipedia page. To prevent ‘conflicts’ because different people are working on the same section, consider to work with about one sentence at the time. It isn’t the end of the world if more than one person edits the same section at the same time, but it will require some manual editing afterwards which won’t be much fun…!
6. Get going editing. Wikipedia is fairly intuitive and there are lots of links to help pages. Start with a small edit and build your confidence, or add one reference or link. There are no specific UCRF guidelines about what to edit other than Principle 1 of the Union of Concerned Researchers manifesto: Create an ‘activist knowledge ecology’, that is, to develop a system of knowledge about fashion sustainability that is concerned with how knowledge is organised and shared as well as the data points themselves and to direct such a system purposefully towards fostering change
- Try to work to your expertise, cite peer-reviewed sources
- Be prepared for some edits to be deleted by moderators. It is worthwhile to keep a record of edits separately.
- What terms need adding to the page? For example, regenerative culture/agriculture?
6. When you publish you will be asked to describe your changes – mention briefly what your edit is about.
7. You can use the ‘Talk’ tab at the top of the Wiki page to discuss issues with the wider Wikipedia community that is interested in editing the Sustainable Fashion page.