He says teenagers benefit from being taught about budgets and spending, and believes shopping is a viable example — breaking down where clothes come from, and the manufacturing structure and distribution processes involved.
And, like Jacobs, Walker observes a growing trend for sustainable fashion as climate change concerns come to a head: “Millennials and Gen Z shoppers are starting to take a stand on these fronts, as can be seen through Google search trends, which indicated an 83% growth in searches for ‘sustainable fashion’ between August and October this year.”
Echoing this, Jacobs says Gen Z’s interest in Depop soared this year, which dovetails with her finding that there is “an inherent sense of justice” once children and young people understand the detrimental impact of fast fashion.
Once restrictions allow, Jacobs will add ‘make or mend’ sessions to her school sessions, whereby she and an assistant will demonstrate skills such as block printing a T-shirt or customising a piece of clothing, depending on what schools can do.
“Everyone needs to wake up to this – it is not a generational thing,” says Jacobs. “If you look at the G-7 Fashion Pact – the global coalition of companies in the fashion and textile industry – they are working very much with the mindset that we are in trouble and we need to turn this around.”