Fashion This Series: “The True Cost” and Other Stylish Events



As a new undertaking this semester, a few St. Norbert faculty members put together a series of events and presentations called Fashion This. The project promotes the idea of “exploring sustainable and ethical fashion through art and design,” as expressed in the tagline for the series.

Sustainable fashion involves recycling or upcycling clothes, purchasing items that will last and being mindful of where products are coming from. Through this series, these various events aim to help students and the community understand what it means to support sustainable fashion and use it in their own daily lives.

So far, the series of events has included workshops for making and mending articles of clothing and fashion exhibitions displayed in Baer Gallery in the Bush Art Center, the latter of which will continue to reside there until Friday, Sept. 23.

On Thursday, Sept. 8, the Bush Art Center hosted a screening of the documentary “The True Cost.” This film was written and directed by Andrew Morgan in 2015 to depict the dark side of the fashion industry and consumerism–the problems they cause and the lives they take. Additionally, it shed light on sustainable fashion and the difference that fighting extreme consumerism can make. The film also concentrated on the fashion industry and a gave a great deal of insight into the struggles that go on behind the scenes.

After watching the documentary, there was time for discussion in which viewers could ask questions about the film or sustainable fashion. Some questions that were posed enquired about how to get started in creating a more sustainable wardrobe, especially if they are not experienced in making clothes themselves.

April Beiswenger, one of the creators of this program, recommended that people “buy fewer things but [of] better quality.”

Another creator of the program, Shan Bryan-Hanson, explained what she hopes people will take away from both the film and the Fashion This series as a whole: “One of the goals with this project is to give ideas about how to take small steps.”

To promote the idea, the Fashion This series has also created the “Knights on The Catwalk: Fashion Show” where students are encouraged to re-use and create clothing to model for a sustainable fashion show, which will take place on Friday, Sept. 30.

On Thursday, Oct. 13, a panel discussion with the SNC faculty members involved in creating these events will take place.

For more information on any of these events, visit  The film “The True Cost” is also available on Netflix.


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