“This Girl Is On Fire” T-Shirt Project

Girl on Fire

The Achievement Gap

For decades, educators have struggled to close the “achievement gap,” the persistent differences in test scores, grades and graduation rates among students of different races, ethnicities and, in some subjects, genders.

According to an American Psychological Association article, a group of social and cognitive psychologists have approach this problem not based on the idea that at least some of these disparities are the result of faulty teaching or broken school systems, but instead spring from toxic stereotypes that cause ethnic-minority and other students such as women to question whether they belong in school and whether they can do well there. While such a major problem might seem to require widespread social change to fix, the psychologists are finding evidence that short, simple interventions can make a surprisingly large difference.

We are developing projects to close the achievement gap:
But we need your help!

In May 2013 NPR’s Planet Money started a Kickstarter campaign to make a t-shirt and tell the story of how it was made.

Planet Money T-Shirt Kickstarter campaign

They used Kickstarter because it helped them answer a very important question: How many t-shirts should they make? And, for that matter, were there even enough people who wanted a Planet Money t-shirt to make the project viable?

Using labor from places such as Bangladesh and Columbia each t-shirt costed about $12.42.

T-Shirt costs

To help support our projects to close the achievement gap, we will be making our own “This Girl Is On Fire” t-shirt using as many high-quality local inputs as possible to demonstrate the Economic Impact Rating. Our efforts will be featured in a documentary called I Could Be….

“This Girl Is On Fire” t-shirts will be:
  • Grown in the USA with organic cotton
  • Made in North Carolina
  • Transparent supply chain
  • Water-based inks
One of the major problems that keeps garment manufacturing overseas and out of the United States is “fast fashion.” An explain in a video on Online MBA:

‘Fast Fashion’ refers to clothing and accessories that are designed to reflect current industry trends, yet produced using less expensive materials to ensure a low price tag. For the last two decades, clothing retailers like H&M, Zara, and Forever 21 have popularized Fast Fashion among everyday consumers….

The Fast Fashion trend has also led to environmental concerns. Every year, the clothing industry produces 2 million tons of waste, emits 2.1 million tons of carbon dioxide, and uses 70 million tons of water; these figures have significantly risen in the years since Fast Fashion became a retailing standard.

Fast Fashion is also toxic; a Greenpeace Detox campaign report found residues of a variety of hazardous chemicals in clothing made by 20 global fashion brands.

In another article on Zady, Elizabeth Cline, author of Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashionis quoted as saying:

We are buying new consumer products based on rapid changes in fashion that are engineered by corporations. This requires being dissatisfied with things we just bought and being seduced by the idea of instant gratification and novelty. It’s like we’re turning into children.

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