Thursday, April 13 — Winsor students helped the community think about consumption and sustainability ahead of Earth Day on April 22.
Kicking off the week with a documentary screening, the Upper School club Conserve Our
World (COW) invited students to come to the Trustee Room for a lunch-and-learn session. The True Cost
is a documentary about the fashion industry’s impact on human workers and the environment, the costs of which have both grown dramatically, even as the price of clothing decreases.
COW took the stage at all-school Assembly in the the David E. and Stacey L. Goel Theater to address the themes in the film, especially the concept of “fast fashion” — inexpensive clothing produced by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends. “Fast fashion impacts the environment” students shared, naming the overconsumption of trendy clothing as a drain on natural resources and a major producer of emissions. One statistic cited the fashion industry as being responsible for 10% of global carbon emissions each year. Since fast fashion items are often discarded after a handful of wears, students shared some ideas for how to practice more sustainable fashion.
“Slow fashion,” they shared, is “buying less and buying better!” Acknowledging that can be expensive, students focused on four ways we can all be more responsible consumers.
Rewear outfits: Don’t subscribe to microtrends, instead focus on timeless and capsule pieces.
Repair and care: Take care of your clothes — following the wash instructions is a good place to start — and learn the basics of clothing repair — a good life skill!
Upcycle: When you’re sick of an item, get creative with a cool patch or a pair of scissors. Turn clothes into something new, like a t-shirt quilt. Shop second hand or trade clothes with friends.
Research: Before you buy, look into clothing companies to determine if they have sustainable business practices. Some may use deceptive greenwashing, for example, saying things are “eco friendly,” when they really aren’t.
After a Kahoot! Trivia, COW rounded out their Assembly by inviting several Upper School students to join them on stage to talk about their own ongoing work in sustainability.
Alicia Wu ’24
is collaborating with the Sustainable Sharon Coalition
to organize the upcoming Save Our Climate 5k Fun Run/Walk, which will be held on April 29, 10:00–11:30 a.m., in Borderland State Park
. All proceeds are going to the Sustainable Sharon Coalition to help them progress in their climate protection efforts. “If you want to spend time in nature, participate in a good cause, and get the chance to spend quality time with friends and family, you should sign up
for this event!” she shared.
Anaya Raikar ’25 works with the Massachusetts Youth Climate Coalition (MYCC), encompassing 35 MA youth-led climate advocacy groups, and has worked on a youth-written Interdisciplinary Climate Justice Education Bill.
Julia Bae ’25
, together with Raikar, devotes time to the MIT Climate Action Through Education
(CATE) program. Focusing on causes and effects of climate change, the place-based high school climate curriculum is solution orientated with a focus on advocacy and action. MIT CATE will be launching in public high schools in Massachusetts this fall with 20+ lessons across four core subjects including English and math.
In her work with Spring Forward
, Mina Subramanian ’24
is focused on getting climate education into school curriculum, camps, and youth programs. “Even though they’re young, we want kids to know they can make a difference,” she said.
Caroline Shin ’23
spoke about her part-time job at eco-friendly refill store Center Goods
in Lexington, MA. A “refill station,” the store encourages shoppers to bring their own containers to purchase everything from dish soap to shampoo all while supporting fair-trade ethical goods. The shop has become “a hub of local environmental activism” shared Shin, and provides alternatives and solutions to more plastics entering the system.
At the end of Assembly, club heads Zoe Vittori-Koch ’24 and Anissa Patel ’23 encouraged people to join future meetings — COW meets on cycle day five in room 311 during lunch. Recently, they held a tote bag decorating activity to promote sustainability. After painting and drawing, participants ultimately took home their very own tote bag.