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Combatting fast fashion with the Richmond Climate Change Youth Fund

Date: 25 November 2022
Author: Star
Title: Recipient of the 2021 Richmond Climate Change Youth Fund

I found out about the Richmond Climate Change Youth Fund from a Richmond borough newspaper. My mum saw the advert and encouraged me to go for it.

I was very aware at the time of the effect of fast fashion on the environment and normally shopped in charity shops for clothes. I would often feel a bit guilty for buying fast fashion so a clothing swap seemed like a good idea.

The application was quite long with loads of questions and took some time, but it did get me thinking more about what I wanted to do and why. The application process also helped me develop the project from an idea into something real as it helped focus me on the budget, deciding where the money should go to in terms of food and venue and marketing. The interview process was online because I think there were still COVID-19 measures, with two members of the student youth council. They were really nice and friendly. The interview was non-threatening, it was more like a chat and relaxed.

I would say that the hardest part of the project was marketing to my age group. My friend helped me with an Instagram page but it's difficult gaining the attention of teens! I reached out to all the local schools in the area, announced it in newsletters at my own school and in assembly but I would say the majority of people came from Esher College where a teacher there loved the idea and was a big part of helping to get his students through the door using the student union at the college.

I thought that the project was very successful, it had a really good atmosphere, lots of people showed up, the band played, there was loads to eat and drink and people were going home with arms full of clothes and happy. A lot of people said that they really enjoyed it when we asked for feedback. I managed to pull lots of friends in on the day to help and we all had a really good time.

I would say to any young person with any idea they may have to help spread awareness of climate change to apply for the funding. There is nothing to lose and it is a good way of gaining experience.

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Updated: 25 November 2022