Fighting Poverty in the Fashion Industry with Oxfam

The Oxfam Change Initiative brings together youth leaders and supports them over a 6 month training program in campaign strategy and community organising. As a 2018 Change Initiative Youth Leader, I worked on Oxfam’s What She Makes campaign, calling on big brands to pay the women who make our clothes a living wage, so they can break the cycle of poverty.

I started the Oxfam Change Initiative back in April with a group of amazing girls passionate about changing the world. We first met at our induction and instantly got along well, and after our induction we met at the Brisbane Oxfam office fortnightly for our workshops. The workshops covered: Campaign Strategy, Tactics and Community Organising, Campaign Project Management, Events and Actions, Values, Framing and Messaging, Leadership and Team-Building, Conversations for Change, and Digital Campaigning. We also had an overnight retreat where we learnt more important skills, heard from the What She Makes campaign lead, contributed to the next stage of the campaign, and worked on the action plans for the event or activity we were each organising for the campaign.

The event I organised as part of the campaign was a workshop that aimed to 1. teach people about the issue, 2. encourage some discussion, 3. encourage them to reflect and express their views, 4. provide practical help in learning more/taking action. The workshop was held at a cafe boardroom, with brunch included. We called the event Breakfast of Changemakers

You can see how the event went in my vlog:

After the event, I put together a booklet that summarised everything we discussed, (including what we learnt from the wonderful guest speaker,) provided some practical tips and tricks on how to have meaningful conversations with family and friends to help raise awareness about the issue, and how to remain engaged in the campaign. You can check out the booklet here.

We all buy clothes, so we should all use our power as customers to tell companies we care about what she makes, and ask companies to pay the women who make our clothes a living wage. You can learn more about Oxfam’s What She Makes campaign at whatshemakes.oxfam.org.au/

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