Sweater Days is primarily about energy consumption, but also recognizes the impacts of fashion choices and work habits on issues such as landfill, industrial waste in the global textile industry, the effects of over-consumption on people and planet. Western has received kudos for our Sweater Days, Power Down, and Go For The Green participation programs. Other organizations and universities are following our lead.
Explore these resources to learn more about innovations at Western, our energy future, climate change, resilience, and the ways in which art, making, mending, and handcraft make a political statement and support sustainability.
- Craftivism: Author (“Knitting for Good!” and “Craftivism: The Art of Craft and Activism”), Artist, and Activist Betsy Greer writes: “The creation of things by hand leads to a better understanding of democracy, because it reminds us that we have power.” Craftivism is the practice of engaged creativity, especially regarding political or social causes. By using their creative energy to help make the world a better place, craftivists help bring about positive change via personalized activism. Craftivism allows practitioners to customize their particular skills to address particular causes.
- The Visible Mending Programme: Tom van Deijnen’s Visible Mending Programme seeks to highlight that the art and craftsmanship of clothes repair is particularly relevant in a world where more and more people voice their dissatisfaction with fashion’s throwaway culture. By exploring the story behind garment and repair, the Programme reinforces the relationship between the wearer and garment, leading to people wearing their existing clothes for longer, with the beautiful darn worn as a badge of honour. “Tom of Holland” is based in the UK, and inspires through his blog and workshops.
- The True Cost: is about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing? A selection of the 2016 Bellingham Human Rights Film Festival, The True Cost will be screened publicly on February 27, 2016. It is available for check-out from Western’s Film Library.
- Crafting a Continuum: Rethinking Contemporary Craft: Houston Center for Contemporary Art exhibition that highlights the Museum’s extensive holdings in craft objects made from wood, ceramic and fiber, and provides a national and international perspective on modern and contemporary craft and the current level of innovation and experimentation in material studies.
- WWU Energy Dashboards: This website is meant to inform the students, faculty, and staff of Western Washington University about campus wide utility usage. With the data provide by this website, anyone can study campus energy trends and track individual building usage. Use the menu on the left to view a building's energy dashboard. For information on how WWU gets its electricity, check out the EPA's Power Profiler website under External Links.
- Rainforest Action Network, Out of Fashion: The fashion industry has a dirty secret – forests across the world are being destroyed, processed into pulp, and being used to create the fabrics we wear every day. Forest destruction for fabric has to stop. That’s why RAN has launched our Out of Fashion campaign, to demand the fashion industry commit to forest friendly fabric. Video Link
- Fibershed, Pioneering Modern Natural Dyes: There’s a duality to natural dyeing that Kristine Vejar embraces: the naturalist and plant pigment explorer; the scientist and careful recipe creator. For years, Kristine has worked in this balance as a natural dyer, spinner, knitter, community-builder, and owner of the shop A Verb for Keeping Warm in Oakland. She approaches natural dyeing with detailed consideration, testing each recipe for reproducibility, scalability, and the subtle variation that occurs when dyeing on different yarn bases for the in-house A Verb for Keeping Warm yarn lines, and she has poured this approach into her forthcoming book, The Modern Natural Dyer [see Sweater Days 2015 Booklist].
- Green24: Brimful of green facts, valuable information and scientific expertise, green24 is your answer to everyday green living. There are truly limitless possibilities and green24 explores and celebrates them all, shining a flashlight into the darkest corners to expose myths and fabrications and reveal the green truth.
- Recycle Now: The national recycling campaign for England, supported and funded by Government, managed by WRAP and used locally by over 90% of English authorities. They’re here to help people to recycle more things, more often.
- Make Wealth History: Because the earth can’t afford our lifestyle. Make Wealth History is an exploration of sustainable living in the real world. The lifestyle of the western world is unsustainable – environmentally, economically, and socially. We are living beyond our means, and sharing the earth’s resources unequally. To restore some balance, we need to learn to use less, want less, and be more generous.
- The Fashion Revolution: Be curious. Find out who made your clothes — from who spun the threads, to who sewed them together, to who grew the cotton in the first place. On 24 April 2013, 1133 people were killed and over 2500 were injured when the Rana Plaza factory complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the worst ever industrial disaster in the fashion and textile industry. It wasn’t the first, nor was it the last, but it is symptomatic of how little respect is given to the people who make our clothes and the environment they work in. Fashion Revolution says enough is enough.
- Zady, The New Standard: You know the feeling. Staring at an overflowing closet, with a never-ending sense of having nothing to wear. Clothing with seams coming apart after only a few turns in the wash. It began with simply wanting to understand ‘quality.’ What we uncovered was the why behind our low-quality goods. A system training us to buy more and more products of increasingly lower quality by an industry that hides the outrageously high environmental and social cost of its production. All that cost for something that falls apart and has replaced style with trends? It’s a systemic issue. We’re not afraid of that. We’re building a company that proves there is a better way. We’re making clothes what they should be: Clothes that fit. Clothes that feel great. Pieces that inspire. This isn’t a trend. This is the new standard.
- Blog by the Residents of BT514, WWU's SAF Sustainable Energy Efficient Dorm Pilot ( SEED: Sustainable Energy Efficient Dorm)
- Post Carbon Institute: Our Energy Reality
- Guide to building thriving, Resilient Communities
- Energy is at the heart of the human predicament in the twenty-first century, and we now face a transformational moment in our energy story.
- University of Washington Conservation magazine. Conservation is an independent science magazine dedicated to changing the conversation about what it means to be “green.” In every issue, we challenge the “doom-and-gloom” paradigm in conservation journalism with a careful examination of success stories about smart science and technological solutions to the big environmental problems of our time.
- Artist Eve Mosher explains how she started using art to engage people in the impacts and solutions to climate change, by drawing "high water lines" in coastal US cities that will be affected by rising sea levels and more frequent catastrophic weather events.
- Public Art Energy Kit
- The Carbon cycle of textiles
- House made of textiles! 90% less energy for heating and cooling, only using the amount it would take to run a hair dryer.
- Techstyle Haus