The ugly side of fashion: Bradley students highlight ethical issues in capstone project

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – A team of Bradley University students used their senior capstone project to highlight the ethical issues behind the fast fashion industry.

Fast fashion is the practice of making inexpensive and stylish clothing as quickly as possible to meet demand, typically using cheap labor overseas.

Anna Wasko is a senior public relations student at Bradley University in Peoria. He said fast fashion brands make clothes that only need to be worn a few times and then discarded. This causes a plethora of environmental problems.

“It was really to create awareness, like, ‘Where do your clothes come from?'” Wasko said. “There are a lot of problems and impacts that come with fast fashion that so many people are aware of and don’t understand, so that’s exactly what we were trying to point out during this campaign.”

Wasko said the project was to include partnerships with a for-profit organization and a non-profit organization. Their campaign included Fashionably Late, a shipping shop in Peoria’s Junction City shopping plaza. They also partnered with South Side Mission as a non-profit organization.

According to a spokesperson for Bradley, part of the team’s campaign included creating a trash can at the student center so that students could donate their clothes worn to Southside Mission instead of throwing them away.

The project culminated in a fashion show featuring dresses from Fashionably Late.

“The goal of the show was just to show where you can buy these clothes, how much they can be bought and that you can buy nice and affordable clothes that are not from SHEIN, which are not from RomWay, which is not supporting these trends. of fast fashion, ”Wasko said.

For their efforts, Wasko and his teammates won the “Fall 2021 Ebeling PR-ize ™”.

A university press release stated, “Created by Bradley student Chuck Ebeling and faculty member Ron Koperski in 2004, the Ebeling PR-ize ™ is a competitive program among Bradley’s senior public relations students in their course. capstone “.

“A lot of tears went into this project, I won’t lie,” Wasko said.

She said the award showed her and her teammates that all their hard work paid off in the end.

“Our event went fantastic, we couldn’t have asked for better, everyone who attended and helped was wonderful,” Wasko said. “We had great clients, it was a great experience doing something that was related to something I can do in the real world.”

In addition to providing her PR expertise, Wasko said she now looks at the fashion industry from a completely different perspective.

“I will not lie, I was a SHEIN shopper, I was a ROMWE shopper. I would try to find the cheapest tank top I could buy. But now I’m like, ‘I can go to Goodwill and find it, I can go to a thrift store, a small consignment store, a local store; support a local business. ‘ It could be something that has been worn before, but is now not sitting in a dumpster. Now it’s not in our landfills. My purchases have definitely changed since this campaign. “


More information on fast fashion can be found here:

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