Every year TRAID Education work with the whole of the Lower Sixth Form of Pipers Corner School in High Wycombe for an extended cross-curricular project. Students are introduced to the problems and solutions as we unpick the fashion industry, analyse garments to understand their ethics and consider their environmental impact. The students form groups and explore the provenance of an unwanted garment balancing views from NGO’s, the media and the brands own PR before thoughtfully up-cycling the clothing for resale in their local charity shop.

This year the standard of students work was exceptional and during the presentations of research and finished garments we were particularly impressed with how one student creatively communicated the problems within the garment industry with a poem.

Here is Imogen Scott’s response to what she learned when exploring the supply chain of her garment.

No one likes to accept we have a problem with child cruelty

Reports we see in the media, we don’t take them as for surety

Exploited, ignored, abused, we rid them of their purity

How can we sit and be silent

Hopeful eyes and a happy smile

Is this not the identity of an innocent child?

Supposed characteristics, a list we’ve compiled

How can we sit and be silent

The term ‘child labour’ is often mis-used

These children are broken and tired, abused

No sense of potential, dignity, confused

How can we sit and be silent

So what’s to be done?

It’s a crime universally done, perhaps unaware

We are all responsible, the invisible handcuffs we bear

Our innocence plea? help the children found there

No more will we sit and be silent