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News > General > Carry Somers visits school

Carry Somers visits school

We were delighted to welcome Carry Somers, nearly 40 years after she left Colyton Grammar School. She spoke about her career in fashion, ethical practices and campaigning for fair trade in fashion.
18 Apr 2023
Written by Emma Styles
General
Carry Somers talk with students about her career in the fashion industry
Carry Somers talk with students about her career in the fashion industry

She spoke about her career in fashion, ethical practices and campaigning for fair trade in fashion with our Year 10 artists and at a lunchtime Inspire talk. 

Carry’s journey in fashion started during her Masters in Native American studies, where she witnessed a young lady preparing natural dyes in Ecuador. She then discovered the traditional hats of Ecuador, and this is where the first ever fair-trade transparent fashion company, Patchacuti, came from highlighting where the raw product for these Panama hats can be sourced through to the craft people making them. It was the first garment to be verified by Fair Trade in fashion. 

Carry shared with us her passion for recognising and questioning the fashion industry around safety following the Rana Plaza factory disaster in Bangladesh. She co-founded Fashion Revolution on the anniversary of this tragic event. Carry has used research, evidence, and lobbying to question internationally: Where do our clothes come from? Who made my clothes? These questions have unravelled the impact the fashion industry has on the environment and safety. Fashion Revolution established the transparency index, an industry-specific audit, looking at policies (such as child labour/chemical wastes) focusing on what should be done to improve these areas and ensure the safety of workers. This work has gained her Business of Fashion 500 recognition, and she was also featured on the Nasdaq billboard for Conscious Fashion Week 2022. 

In 2020 she participated in Exxpedition, where she sailed with an all-female crew from the Galapagos to Easter Island to research the impact of plastic in our oceans. Carry explained to students how she was shocked to see a multicoloured beach on Easter Island (one of the smallest inhabited islands in the world), littered with plastics, with many microfibres from clothes. 

She shared with us her current focus on natural dyes as well the history of textiles and the fashion industry. It was inspiring to hear Carry talk about her career, her desire to question, make change for good and make people accountable for our environment, planet and future. 

https://www.fashionrevolution.org/frw-2023/ 

https://www.businessoffashion.com/community/bof500 

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