Date: 7. March 2020
Time to read: 3 min
In Slovenia, environmental protection is increasingly becoming a priority. The education of children in this sense is primarily the responsibility of parents, but also of educational institutions. Last year, the students of the Gornja Radgona Primary School organised a special campaign entitled "A hundred days in the same T-shirts and trousers".
The campaign launched on 2 September of 2019 and ended on a symbolic note on 10 December 2019, which marks Human Rights Day. The aim was to wear the same T-shirts and jeans for a hundred days in order to help raise awareness about environmental protection and draw attention to the environmental impact of the textile industry.
Without pomp, but with determination
It began quietly. Only a handful of people knew that they were part of a special team. On the first day of school the students came dressed in donated blue T-shirts with the school logo and the slogan Be gentle, the planet will thank you printed on them, and in the same jeans.
The students Tian, Zoja, Tia, Julija, Lara, Eva, Nina Katarina, Gal, Alex and Zara who participated in the campaign all expressed their opinion that a change in the attitude towards clothing also contributes to a cleaner planet. During the campaign, they also reflected on values and right and wrong decisions.
One of their findings was that clothes do not make the man. A part of the campaign was therefore also dedicated to reflection on consumer behaviour. Is shopping really necessary or is it only a way to fill a void within us? Furthermore, they discussed fashion and found that it is too aggressive, and that our response to it is too impulsive and lacks consideration.
In addition to the school’s management, which was proud of the participating students, the parents were also excited to join the project. They established a green system of washing or cleaning clothes, meaning that after coming home from school, the children took off their T-shirts and trousers to air them out, while only doing the laundry on the weekend using less water and no detergent.
"We did not use parameters to calculate how much water, energy, detergent and fabric softener we saved by wearing the same clothes to school every day and washing them only once a week. A hundred days’ worth of savings was definitely not negligible. We are happy to have been able to demonstrate that it is possible to wear the same item of clothing for several days and resist the consumer mentality," said the teacher Vera Granfol.
During the campaign, the participants had to be very brave and persistent. They missed their favourite clothes and at times certainly wished for new clothes they saw in shop windows. However, they ignored this urge and learnt that affordable clothing often entails exploitation of their peers in underdeveloped countries, environmental pollution and false values.
Despite all the obstacles, they demonstrated that more prudence and green awareness are essential and that everyone can do something to help the planet.
They intend to continue this campaign while also regularly joining other environmental projects. This year, they will present their school project to other pupils in Germany, with certainly many more to follow. Although the stores offer us tempting discounts, we do not need more things. What we need, however, is a green planet, and if we do not follow in these students' footsteps we will be confronted with the consequences of our wrong decisions in the future.