As part of Magpies & Peacocks Arts Education program we teach young designers about sustainable fashion practices and incorporating post consumer textiles into their production process – to decrease the large percentage of textile waste that hits landfill. Houston boasts one of the largest consumer economies in the country, but as a port city, it is also home to many of the nations largest textile recycling plants that process and ship out our post consumer textiles problem. By educating consumers on how to responsibly shop, dispose of their clothing and the issues surrounding our current system; creating programs for school participation; and encouraging emerging designers to incorporate sustainable practices, we can significantly impact that textile waste statistic.
Retaining Hand Skills: By offering fashion camp to kids as young as 12yrs old with our partners at Fashion Camp Houston, and an up-cycling design competition Catwalks & Classrooms for teens through college, we reinforce the value of creativity through sewing skills, pattern and dress making, deconstruction and reconstruction. We currently host workshops outside of school hours and classes within college curriculum, supplying up-cycled textiles from our resource library as raw materials. With the decline of creative classes in schools and the upswing of interest in green fashion, we have found that kids are excited to be able to create unique clothing for themselves, especially when they are cognizant of their environmental impact.
By collaborating with the community, business partners, schools, artists and designers we find that social enterprise can thrive – opening the door to educating consumers and creatives about our take/make/dispose economy and presenting an environment for sustainable change and responsible innovation.
We aim to be an agent of change in the way people celebrate and appreciate the business and creation of fashion, with a better understanding of our planets resource constraints, ethical practices and a more circular approach to consumption. Targeting kids from 6 years old through college we can ensure that our graduates have a clearer, sustainable and more collaborative career path in the arts with a healthy respect for people, profit and planet. Emphasizing the importance of the circular economy on the industry as a whole.
Magpies & Peacocks has collected over 200,000 lbs in donated post consumer textiles and accessories since 2011. 65% of the donated items are used to supply materials to local schools, colleges and extracurricular programs, the balance are repaired, reworked or up-cycled into new collections for sale. 25% of the items that we create are donated as silent auction items for local grass roots non-profits.