IES Sustainable A(wear)ness

1. Action name

1.1. What

The idea behind this project is to establish an IES store/program aka IES Sustainable A(wear)ness to promote the idea of being sustainable among the IES community and to also contribute more money to the sustainable fund for future implementation of other products. This would be done through the selling of clothes ie. Shirts and Tote bags that are made out of bamboo which is a sustainable material. This new focus of the project is why the name has now changed from the IES Souvenir Store to the IES Sustainable A(wear)ness because it would not be so much focused as a store but rather as a fund raiser and promoter of sustainability.

One potential wholesale supplier for this project that has been found is Onno Textiles.

1.2. Why/Potential Benefits

Why this project and not a flyer?

The reason why this would be a better idea than rather handing out just flyers is because it would give students an item ie. clothes/tote bags that they could buy and use in their lives that would demonstrate to them first hand one of the ways an individual could be sustainable. Also accomplished through this project, like it was mentioned before the project would also help in the funding of other sustainable projects with the extra proceeds. Lastly, because students will be finding about this project early on before they come to Barcelona, this project could potentially attract other students to possibly get involved in furthering this project or joining some of the other projects that this one helps to fund thus causing a great awareness among the whole IES community of being sustainable even if they may not be taking the class.

Why using bamboo material?

Bamboo is naturally Organic
- bamboo is grown without pesticides or fertilisers, unlike conventional cotton which uses 25% of all the worlds’ pesticides and less than 10% of the agricultural land mass thus lowering the ecological footprint of having to make items out of it.

Sustainable/Very Resilient plant
- Moso bamboo is one of the world’s fastest growing plants, growing up to a metre in a day. Bamboo is a grass, so once cut it will regenerate quickly without the need for replanting (in the same way as your garden lawn). It grows very densely and so the yield per acre is excellent in comparison to cotton.

- one of the most positive things about bamboo is that it absorbs 35% more carbon dioxide than equivalent stands of trees. More bamboo would help to cut the globally rising levels of carbon dioxide and help in the fight against global warming. Another benefit of bamboo is that it releases a significant amount of oxygen into the atmosphere, more so than trees. Planting bamboo can help reduce the level of carbon dioxide in the air as well as reducing soil erosion and desertisation.

-The complex root system of bamboo plants makes them an excellent choice for planting in high erosion areas such as riverbanks and areas subject to mud slides.

-They are also suitable for planting in areas which have suffered significant soil degradation and deforestation.

-Bamboo fabric is created from bamboo pulp. The fabric is bleached without the use of chlorine. Bamboo fabric is easy to dye and is done so without the use of harsh chemicals and using methods which use less water than conventional dyeing methods.

-The production of bamboo fabric and clothing therefore has a lower impact on the environment than conventional cotton farming methods.

- bamboo absorbs up to 60% more water than cotton. This makes it an excellent choice for towels and bathrobes. Yet at the same time bamboo is also very soft and comfortable

- the porous nature of the fibre makes it breathable and extremely comfortable against the skin. Thermo-regulating - keeps the wearer warm in cool weather.

- bamboo's organic and natural properties make it non-irritating so perfect for extra sensitive skin

Why Onno?

Because all of their apparel is manufactured in Canada and overseas. They also work hard to ensure that their partners in manufacturing share their values and provide a good workplace for all employees. Onno the comapny places a strong emphasis on working with people they can trust. All of their overseas factories are third party audited using the BSCI (Business Social Compliance Initiative) Monitoring system, which is based on the labor standards of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Also they too can be trusted in being a reliable company that produces quality products since they have worked with companies such as Nike, Pepsi and Speedo.

Lastly not only are the products made by Onno sustainable but they participate in a carbon offset program to continue to become an even more environment friendly company.

Their motto about carbon offset:

"We move raw materials and finished product all over the globe. This is bad because carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels (from boats, trains, and trucks) is polluting and changing the Earth’s climate.

To balance the harm we’re doing by moving materials from here to there, we purchase carbon offsets from www.carbonfund.org. We chose CarbonFund because they are a non-profit, and they are third part audited. CarbonFund can offset one metric ton of carbon dioxide for $10.00. This is a good price. We like and recommend the CarbonFund".

1.2.1. Potential Costs

Money costs:

In the beginning there would be no up front costs since the clothes and bags would just be purchased depending if there is enough students interested and there would just be one big order done to avoid having to have multiple shipping done, which is not very sustainable. If there is some immediate part of the budget available a few shirts could be purchased and a tote bag to have as a sample of what the students could purchase but this is not necessary.

Prices for products sold:

The organic bamboo t-shirts would be offered in the colors: White,Black,Moss Green, Espresso, and Sea Blue and would range in prices from $14-26 dollars depending on how many students are interested in ordering them (included in the price is the extra charge of two dollars which would go towards the IES Sustainability class fund). The tote bags that would be sold would range between $8-10 dollars.

Time cost:

As for time needed to make this project sustainable the order form would be available on the first floor of IES at the information counter where Margarita is. The opportunity to get these items would be over the course of the first month school is in session and after that month if there is enough interest than the order form would be sent to allow time for the processing of the order and also the shipping of it back to the campus and than the later distribution of them.


During the beginning stages of this action one of the risks that was stated at the student council meeting of this action was the possibly of there not being enough interest in the purchasing of shirts and bags made out of bamboo. As a solution to this my partners Karley and Ingrid and I set out to conduct a survey among the IES student body. All of us each asked 16 students (8 males and 8 females) if they would be interested in purchasing items made out of bamboo. After the surveys were done we had a total of 48 students opinions. Out of the 48 students that were asked 35 of them said that would actually be interested in purchasing items made out of bamboo and also at the prices that we would be selling them at.

1.3. How

Work done so far:

Action was taken to the student council meeting in March where Dawn and Atta gave very useful feedback that they did not see a IES Souvenir store as being something feasible to carry out. Thus this action was revamped to be more of a fund raiser/advertisement/tool to create awareness of the sustainability class and to also allow IES students a chance if they want to order shirts and bags that are made out of the sustainable material bamboo. After this was done 48 IES students were surveyed (24 males and 24 females) to see if they would be interested in purchasing items made out of bamboo and out of that pool 35 said they would purchase items at the prices we would sell them at. Also gained from this survey of the IES community was that many thought this was a great idea to offer people the opportunity to buy items that are made out of different materials. One particular thing that many liked a lot was the ability to buy canvas bags because a lot of students stated that it would be useful for grocery shopping or even to use to bring books to school.

The next steps:

The next step would be to send an email to the incoming students of the next semester about the ability to buy bamboo shirts or tote bags so that they are aware of it and understand that they will be sold during the first month of the program and to also let them know where they can order them, which would be at the IES information desk on the first floor. The email would also give them a background behind this project, which is to help fund other sustainable projects as well to let them know about how there are other more sustainable materials that clothes are made out of that are available for them to buy! As for the order form there would be no need to make one since Onno Textile has an simple easy to use order form that could be used to order the exact sizes and colors that would be needed and so all students would have to do is just write down on a paper what item, color, and if its a shirt also the size they need. Lastly the only other thing that would needed to be made is just a flyer to post up at the desk to show people where they can get these items. This flyer will be presented during our class presentation since there is no way to attach a word file to this site.

Donna from Onno Textiles Phone number: 303-928-717


1.5. Students involved in this action

Andrew Cassara (Leader)

Karley Chisim
Contribution: Took action to the student council meeting and also surveyed 16 IES students about there thoughts of the action.

Ingrid Lesemann
Contribution: Surveyed 16 IES students about there thoughts of the action.

 Assignment 8: Peer review form

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Items found: 1
How important?How urgent?How feasible?How far?How well justified?How well presented?Overall gradeReviewerNotes from the reviewer
4434554mtrejoVery nice project, even if it had to be 'revamped', this is the kind of mental change that needs to happen early in IES semesters

Page last modified on Wednesday 04 of April, 2012 17:13:35