Fashion Revolution Week comes around each year in April and the week surrounds the anniversary of the Rana Plaza Collapse which happened in 2013. The tragic event is one of the biggest industrial disasters in history and it was linked to the fast fashion industry. Over 1,100 garment factory workers were killed in the collapse and another 2,500 injured – most victims were women.
Vino Supraja is a sustainable, ethical fashion brand and we’re big supporters of the Fashion Revolution. This year we wanted to start our own initiative and take action against one of the fast fashion industry’s biggest problems – landfill.
It’s well documented that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world, but did you know that every second, a truckload of fashion waste is burned or thrown into landfill? Globally, that’s enough to fill one and a half times the Empire State Building every day! It’s a depressing thought isn’t it?
So, we put our heads together and formed a plan to tackle some of that waste and at the same time, put smiles on the faces of children of Pragati Wheel School in India.
Pragati Wheel School
Earlier this year we had the pleasure of visiting the very inspiring Pragati Wheel School. Set in the Yamuna riverbed in Delhi, the school has been helping children of agricultural workers since 2007. Mr Raman Khanna, the principle of the school, explained to us the many ways in which the school educates and takes care of over 250 vulnerable children. Children who may not otherwise get an education, access to healthcare or adequate nutrition.
Mr Khanna says the school is supported financially by friends and associates, allowing the organisation to provide education, resources and meals completely free of cost to children right up until they leave the school. Even once the children leave school, Pragati Wheel has been known to provide support, tools and guidance to students so that they can go on to find jobs and earn a living. But, in order to provide better education and better facilities to the children, they are always in need of more resources.
We asked what we could do to help, and Mr Khanna told us that students joining in April would be in need of school bags and so the Bag A Smile initiative was born!
Bag A Smile Initiative
Our designer, Vino, says that she had always been curious about what is done with all the waste generated from large Indian weddings – particularly the one-off items that were made exclusively for the events. Luckily, she knew just the man to ask; her friend and professional wedding planner Balaji Mohan.
Balaji explained that the colourful flex banners were a big problem for him. Printed especially for the weddings, after they’d been put to use, he found it almost impossible to find another purpose for them. Luckily, rather than throwing them out, he kept them in storage where they were destined stay until Vino came along. Balaji was delighted to donate the banners so that they could be recycled into beautiful, practical school bags for the new students of Pragati Wheel school.
Watch our video to see the smiles of the beautiful children for yourself.
If you’d like to know more about Pragati Wheel School or provide your support, you can find out more and donate via their website, here.