Fashion Revolution Day @ NMS

Fashion Day 2024

On April 24, the Nelson Mandela School celebrated the 10th Fashion Revolution Day after the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed, burying more than 1,300 people. The tailors, working in catastrophic conditions, had to produce clothes around the clock for major European fashion brands in order to meet the industrialized nations' demand for fast fashion.

For the past ten years, we have commemorated this tragedy by joining the International Fashion Revolution as a school community, which takes place one week around the 24th of April every year. This year, as every year, we opened up the opportunity for around 125 students to learn how to use sewing machines expertly, turning discarded clothes into new functional items and garments. We were supported by fashion designer Wilfried Pletzinger and hobby tailor Birgit M'Pandzou as well as students Lotte Holland (11c) and Lian Baumann (10c). In addition, five learning groups were able to learn about water pollution and its prevention from the "Sailors Clean" initiative, which was founded by former NMS student Leander Baumann.

The highlight of the day was certainly the fashion show by the Leistungskurs Kunst (year 12), whose students spent days tirelessly sewing new, very individual fashion outfits from old clothes under Wilfried Pletzinger's guidance. Among other things, the fashion designs focused on the fusion of (sub)cultures and questioning the expression of identity through clothing. The upper secondary students see themselves as ambassadors for slow fashion, wear second-hand clothes with conviction and swap outfits with their friends and siblings.

The Upcyled Fashion project took place in cooperation with the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district art school. The pupils are currently working on documenting the project on their own websites, which will be made available to the school community in mid-June so that the concepts behind the designs can be understood.

The approximately 300 students and teachers who attended the presentation of the finalized fashion designs at the fashion show were visibly enthusiastic and impressed. All participating students demonstrated their activism for sustainability on Fashion Revolution Day.