In honour of Earth Day last month Year 9 pupils explored this year’s theme ‘Planet vs Plastics’.

Pupils explored how fast fashion is having an impact on the planet and what we can do about it. Justine Aldersey-Williams from the company Northern England Fibershed visited and discussed sustainable fashion with homegrown, homespun fabric.

Northern England Fibreshed exists to help bridge the gap between farming and fashion.

There are currently 150 billion items of clothing manufactured each year, almost 70% of which are derived from fossil fuels, yet consumers only wear a third of what they buy, before their fast fashion purchases are discarded as plastic waste to landfill sites. This means up to 100 billion items of plastic fashion are going in the bin each year while causing social and environmental exploitation and ecocide.

Justine initiated the Homegrown Homespun collaboration with designer, manufacturer and Great British Sewing Been judge, Patrick Grant and arts commissioning organisation, Superslow Way. Having experimented with flax and indigo crops in Blackburn during 2021-2022, in August 2023, Justine made British fashion history by producing the U.K.’s first pair of 100% homegrown jeans.

Pupils then went on to explore how humans are having an impact on habitats and had the opportunity to meet some animals in a workshop run by ZooLab – including fluffy the tarantula and Luigi the tree frog. Our pupils researched and presented key issues facing our planet today and have recorded a short documentary of their Earth Day which will be published soon!

Finally, pupils explored how careers link to saving our planet, and how everyone has a duty to care and protect our global community.

An enjoyable and informative data for all who took part.