Explore the multifaceted realm of sustainability in fashion through the lens of Wear We Are Journal’s inaugural issue. Delving into topics such as green certifications and decarbonization, this comprehensive examination is the result of collaborative efforts from a team of 21 Polimoda students. Uncover the origins of Wear We Are Journal directly from the voices of the team behind its creation.
When we started, we had no idea the project would get this big. But here we are, exactly one year later with our journal distributed internationally in bookstores. I grew up in the Netherlands, where sustainability is part of daily conversation for me. After two years at Polimoda, I wanted to make it part of my career in the fashion industry, too.
I was looking for a space in which I could develop my skills, gain experience, and create connections within the sustainability sector of fashion. When I didn’t find that, I thought, why don’t I create a space like that myself? Knowing other students may be looking for the same thing, I launched a campaign. One month later, the project started with students from the Fashion Business, Marketing Management, and Art Direction undergraduate courses, and the Textiles from Farm to Fabric to Fashion master.
One of the major problems our collective wanted to tackle was misinformation on sustainability in fashion. To ensure that all topics would be accurately represented, our work was reviewed by experts in the fashion sustainability sector. We must have reached out to a hundred professionals. We were afraid we weren’t going to receive any replies, when they suddenly started appearing in our inbox.
Ultimately, the editorial board included talented voices from the World Fair Trade Organization, Cradle to Cradle Innovations Institute, and PVH Corp., amongst others. “It’s reassuring to meet professionals that actually care,” says Sabeen Farooqi, who authored an article on garment workers’ labor unions in South-East Asia. “It proved to me that sustainability is actually a topic in the industry beyond greenwashing.”
As a collective, we also aimed to explore sustainability in fashion from a visual angle. “We’ve got so many artistic students at Polimoda that we knew we would be missing out on an opportunity if we didn’t include editorials,” says Alexandra Popova, member of the editorial team. Although journals are typically text-heavy and contain few images, the editorials offer refreshing visualizations of our team’s research.
For instance, Arina Molcanova visualized waste streams that have been successfully turned into fibers. “It was important to me to efficiently translate my findings, but also to create images that could stand on their own and be eye-catching,” she says.
After the issue was completed, we were set on publishing it. Because it’s usually seen as unsustainable to print, we think publications related to sustainability are really underrepresented in physical spaces like bookstores. We wanted Wear We Are Journal to change that.
The team crowdfunded the money for their first print (100% recycled paper, of course), raising even more than was needed. Soon after the first samples arrived, we knew this was a product we could convince stockists with. We started cold calling bookstores in November, and in December, the Journal became available in cities like Florence, Milan, Amsterdam, and Berlin. Independent bookstores responded really positively.
Following the success of the Journal landing in stores across Europe, our team is creating a second issue. And, as was announced at their launch in December, we’re not doing it alone.
We are partnering up with students from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York to showcase even more perspectives on sustainability in fashion. At the helm of our FIT team sits Juliet Novello, who spent the last academic year on Polimoda’s campus through the FIT in Florence program. “I feel honored to continue my contribution to Wear We Are Journal from my home institution, introducing our work to the fashion students of New York City passionate about ethics and sustainability,” she shares, “No matter ‘wear we are’ in the world, our members’ shared mission to foster awareness in the intersection of sustainability and fashion keeps us connected.”
At the same time, the Florence community is also looking for new team members. Whether you’re looking to gain experience in strategic planning, want to put your graphic design skills to the test, or write an article yourself: Wear We Are Journal might have an open position for you. Applications are open until February 16th 2024.
What’s next on the Journal’s journey is meeting publishers and experimenting with new formats. Reaching our audience has been one of the hardest things in the whole process. For our second issue we’re looking for a partner that can help us adapt our original product to intrigue more people to learn about sustainability in fashion.
Wear We Are Journal’s next issue will appear in summer 2024.
Discover Wear We Are Journal’s open positions for Polimoda students here.
- Julia Paul, Undergraduate in Fashion Business
Wear We Are Journal Team:
- Newton Arnold, Undergraduate in Fashion Business
- Shanvi Bansal, Undergraduate in Fashion Marketing Management
- Annabelle Blount, Undergraduate in Fashion Marketing Management
- Slava Chan, Undergraduate in Fashion Business
- Stefania Cioban, Undergraduate in Fashion Business
- Thea Clarke, Undergraduate in Fashion Business
- Priya Deep, Master in Textiles from Farm to Fabric to Fashion
- Jana El Rifai, Undergraduate in Fashion Art Direction
- Sabeen Farooqi, Undergraduate in Fashion Business
- Riya Gadkiri, Undergraduate in Fashion Marketing Management
- Maya Kunz, Undergraduate in Fashion Art Direction
- Greta Landi, Undergraduate in Fashion Marketing Management
- Erin Malloy, Undergraduate in International Fashion Business Management (FIT)
- Mobina Mirzaei, Undergraduate in Fashion Art Direction
- Arina Molcanova, Undergraduate in Fashion Art Direction
- Livia Morroni, Undergraduate in Fashion Business
- Juliet Novello, Undergraduate in International Fashion Business Management (FIT)
- Aleksandra Popova, Undergraduate in Fashion Business
- Leah van Niekerk, Undergraduate in Fashion Business
- Susanna Zhang, Undergraduate in Fashion Business