Green Gown Awards 2015 Sustainability Student Champion - Charlotte Rebekah Instone - Winner

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Student - London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London

Whilst studying Buying and Merchandising at London College of Fashion, Charlotte created the first sustainability society and volunteered on textiles income generation projects in Tanzania and in Zaatari camp with Syrian refugees.

Charlotte founded the Ethical Fashion Collective: raising over £8,000 for charity through organising ethical fashion shows with 700 attendees, 35 brands and several industry speakers.  Charlotte is currently setting up a social enterprise called Know the Origin (www.facebook.com/knowtheorigin or @KnowTheOrigin) after being inspired by a trip to Dhaka, meeting with Mohammed Yunus, trade unions and survivors of Rana Plaza. Know the Origin will launch online with popups in March 2016. The brand will create design-led affordable sustainable clothing with maximum impact socially and minimum impact environmentally, setting a new standard for transparency and accountability in Bangladesh.

Profits will be used for trade union leadership programmes in Bangladesh and ethical education workshops in UK colleges and universities.

Top 3 learnings

1 Spend time listening before you act, it allows you to learn something you didn’t already know and creates relationship, which is key to helping you build effectively upon the foundation of work that has already been completed by others

2 Set your values and stick to them. Start as you mean to go, don’t set a standard that allows compromise, as you want everyone in your organisation to understand what and why you’re doing what you’re doing

3 Always be bold in asking for things – don’t fear failure. You would be surprised with who is willing support the project and the opportunities that will come out of it.

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