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Food and Agriculture Institute

Dress for Your Rights!

Photo for webpage, McHaffie, B. [photographer]. Unsplash.

Dress for Your Rights! A Rights-based Literary Program for Sustainable Fashion

Developed by Dr. Michelle Superle: Associate Professor, UFV English department; Research Associate, UFV Food and Agriculture Institute

The Dress for Your Rights! program uses the educational potential of picture books in a rights-based literary program to engage children in problem-based learning around sustainable fashion—including fibre agriculture, children’s rights violations, and environmental sustainability.

An extensive body of research confirms that picture books are highly effective tools for influencing children’s attitudes and behaviour. The Dress for Your Rights! program builds on these findings by employing visual and written representations of fibre agriculture and textile arts in picture books, combined with concepts of children’s rights, to help students understand the importance of sustainable fashion.

My research in the Dress for Your Rights! pilot assesses the efficacy of picture books in conjunction with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child to inspire children’s participation in sustainable fashion initiatives in their communities.

To empower children to become involved in and advocate for sustainable fashion by developing and/or participating in sustainable fashion practices.

The fashion industry causes some of the most extensive environmental degradation and human rights violations on earth. But! The good news is that there are many easy changes we can adopt to respect the earth and its people while remaining gorgeously fashionable.

The connections students will develop in the Dress for Your Rights! program link with 8 of the 9 First People’s Principles of Learning, as well as all 3 of the B.C. curriculum Core Competencies (Communication, Thinking, and Personal/Social).

Interested in hosting a pilot of the Dress for Your Rights! program with Dr. Superle? You’re in good hands! Dr. Superle brings extensive experience developing and facilitating school-based programs using picture books. Not only has she completed extensive research on relevant picture books and scholarship on the topic, she has also developed and delivered 3 previous rights-based literary programs (Deroche Arts Club, 2012-14; Read for Your Rights, 2017-18; Dig for Your Rights, 2022), during which she has supervised the involvement of nearly 100 UFV students.

Dress for Your Rights! can be adapted and customized for any age/grade level (including senior secondary), socioeconomic group, or/or demographic profile—including specialized resource material to support Indigenizing initiatives.

QUESTIONS?   Email Dr. Superle at michelle.superle@ufv.ca

Learn more about Dress for Your Rights! Fibre Museum + Challenge activities from a recent Chilliwack event held in November 2022, the Fibre Agriculture Museum Pilot: An Activity Towards Sustainable Fashion.

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