Human Rights in the World of Fashion and Textiles - RSA

Human Rights in the World of Fashion and Textiles

Fellowship events


Rawthmells Coffeehouse (RSA House), London

  • Circular economy
  • Creative economy
  • Manufacturing
  • Sustainability
  • Behaviour change
  • Climate change
  • Environment

Let’s tackle sustainability through interactive activities, a panel discussion, a clothing swap and a repair station. The University of Greenwich and the RSA have teamed up to invite you to reflect on your role within consumer culture and learn about the cogs that make it move. This event is open to the public and is suitable for everyone from the complete beginner to the justice and climate champion.

Bring one item of clothing to swap and one item of clothing to repair to this event.

Panellists and facilitators will help you learn about topics ranging from the human rights abuses related to fashion industry, the impacts of green-washing, the importance of whistle-blowing, grassroots movements for sustainability and the future of fashion in light of climate change. Passive consumer no longer, our goal is to support you with education and resources that will allow you to make the most of your role within the fashion industry. You will be supported by facilitators along the way. You will hear positive solutions that will allow us to collectively step away from feeling lost and closer to enacting change in our own lives.

A-class panellists will speak on their specialities. Panellists will be encouraged to develop and pose their own questions to you.

Short term fashion has caused long term problems. In the first hour of this event you will be able to get stuck into our clothing swap and clothing repair stations as well as an interactive activity with expert facilitators.

An estimated £30bn of unused clothing hangs in UK wardrobes. In the clothing swap room (collaboration room), you’ll be able to consult with a stylist who specialises in making pre-loved clothes work in any wardrobe. Say goodbye to confusing/unsuccessful visits to the charity shop. Bring your old clothing to receive tokens which can be used as currency to let you choose new clothing from our swap rack.

At the clothing repair station you’ll hear from a local community members who will assist you in basic mending techniques. According to the charity called Wrap, which promotes sustainable waste management, the average lifetime for a garment in the UK is just 2.2 years. Shoppers don’t have to throw items away when the items show wear and tear. You will learn a few skills to be able to wear clothing for longer.


6:00 – 6:20: Enjoy a free welcome drink in the Dr Cross Room. Start getting involved with an interactive activity.

6:20 – 6:30: Overview of event and explanation of activities

6:30 - 7:15: You will have equal time to spend between the following:

- Interactive activity (The Dr Cross Room)

- Clothing Swap (The Collaboration Room) supported by Amnesty International from University of Greenwich.

- Clothing Repair Station (Old Archive Room)

7:30 – 8:15: Expert Panels (The Steps & The Dr Cross Room)

8:15 - 8:30: Networking and Goodbyes




Josie Warden is a RSA Senior Researcher in the Economy, Enterprise and Manufacturing team where she is working on topics including community business, economic democracy and sustainability. She previously worked on the RSA Great Recovery project investigating the role of design in a circular economy. Her background is in textile design and sustainable development. 

Persis-Jadé Maravala is the Artistic Director of multi-award winning ZU-UK and creator of Pick Me Up (& hold me tight) - a project that rings all British Payphones at the same time in response to the rise of suicide rates in the UK, Garota Hacker - a sustainable fashion project addressing gender and poverty with Brazilian partners Lá Da Favelinha, and the award winning Hotel Medea overnight trilogy. 

Hannah Wallis is an independent artist-curator, and one half of Franco-British collaboration Dyad Creative. Recently selected as freelance assistant curator and as curator-in-residence at Wysing Art Centre (a role supported by DASH), Hannah is also research assistant, public engagement consultant and trustee for ZU-UK. Working in consultation with ZU-UK directors, Hannah has led an independent evaluation of Garota Hacker UK, a Co-Creating Change funded project that investigates the translation of sustainable fashion models.

Seema Joshi is an independent corporate accountability expert with 20 years of professional experience working globally in law, policy and human rights. She was until recently Programme Director of Global Issues at Amnesty international. For many years, as Head of Business and Human Rights, she led the organisation's investigative work on corporate accountability. She is a lawyer and an associate member of the Business, Human Rights and the Environment Research Group. 


Ben Vanpeperstraete is a corporate accountability expert. He previously worked on the legally binding Bangladesh Accord on Fire and Building Safety (Bangladesh Accord). In addition, he has worked on the Rana Plaza, Tazreen and Ali Enterprises Compensation Arrangements delivering compensation aligned with ILO standards to the victims of the three worst factory incidents of the modern garment industry.   

Marisol Bernal is the Responsible Procurement Officer at the London Universities Purchasing Consortium where she works on transparency in supply chains and public sector human rights due diligence. She supports the implementation of responsible procurement aspects in the procurement process, policies and strategies and help manage LUPC’s risk assessment process.  

Professor Olga Martin-Ortega is Professor of International Law at the University of Greenwich where she leads the Business, Human Rights and the Environment Research Group ( She has 20 years experience researching business and human rights and is a member of the board of the NGOs Electronics Watch and CORE (Corporate Accountability) and the public buyer London University Purchasing Consortium. 




The venue is accessible, but if you have any access requirements or require any reasonable adjustments, please let the team know so that we can ensure you are accommodated for: [email protected]. Please also let us know if you have any dietary requirements or severe allergies.


By registering for this event you consent to receiving communications about this event, both before and after, and you agree to the sharing of your name, organisation & title with the Fellow(s) and/or partner organisation(s) hosting this event. Attendees also agree to the sharing of your name and organisation with other delegates at the event so that they might contact you through MyRSA. If you do not wish this information to be shared, please let us know by emailing: [email protected].


Please note that filming/photography is taking place at this event for promotional and archival purposes. The photographs and recordings made are likely to appear on our website.


If you would prefer not to be photographed please let the photographer know.


For further information contact: Rachel Godin at [email protected]


If you have any questions relating to data protection please contact our Data Protection Officer at [email protected]  




To find out about other Fellowship events coming up in London, please click here

Please click here for Rawthmells accessibility statement. Please get in touch to discuss access via [email protected] or call Rawthmells Events and Programme manager on +44 (0)20 7451 6937 for more information.


We strongly urge all event attendees to refer to the guidelines and protocols as suggested by the UK public health authorities regarding the virus.

  • If you have any concerns, or are feeling unwell, please reconsider your attendance at an RSA event.
  • If you have recently returned from travel to an affected area, current guidance is to self-quarantine. Please do not attend the RSA event in this case.

Should public health advice change, event cancellations may be necessary; under such circumstances event attendees will be notified of cancellations by email as soon as possible.

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