Lyla Patel is the Head of Education at the charity organisation Textile Recycling for Aid and International Development (TRAID) which is based in both Brighton and London. Since 2005 Patel has become the voice of a new Eco-aware generation, whose programme has enlightened and inspired thousands of children, teenagers and teachers to the DIY revolution.
Lyla took a little time out to discuss TRAIDremade's ethos, affordable ethical fashion, RE: Fashion awards and being at the cusp of the UK's recycling revolution.
Patel enthuses that early on in life she held an interest in creating a sustainable future and wanted to make the world a better place. In essence, she has succeeded and talks passionately of the importance of education in raising consumer awareness.
" I tailor each workshop and explain the fashion industry through discussion workshops. Education is vital and introducing the issues at an early age is very important."
Secondary Schools are provided with customisation classes which enable students to customise and create their own garments. Patel reveals , " Because we want people to build upon skills which have been lost". Yet TRAIDs educational projects reach further than the blackboard and school sowing kit; with the organisation setting up fashion shows for students to showcase their talent.
" It is really exciting activity for young people and a really nice way of engaging them with fashion."
The result? Are Eco-Teens starting to care? " I am under no illusion of the Primark effect, people will always vote with their wallet.”
" We need to break down the stigma and ethical clothing needs to be more affordable”.
With a TRAID resource pack available to nationwide teachers by the end of the year and a nomination at the 2008 Re: Fashion Awards this week, is a textile based revolution starting to happen? " I think we are at the beginning of the Revolution, we just need it to seep into the general population."