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Citizens Assembly - Fashion Apocalypse

Australians coming together, ordinary people making extraordinary decisions.



EVENT DETAILS


19 participants

1 expert witness

1 facilitator

2 support event volunteers

6.30pm - 8.30pm, Tuesday 4th Feb

Sustainable Living Festival

@Tradeshall, Melbourne, Australia


EXPERT WITNESS

Nina Gbor


FACILITATION

Sonia Randhawa


AUSTRALIANS COMING TOGETHER


Ordinary people taking extraordinary decisions


Through the Sustainable Living Festival, the Coalition of Everyone held four mock Citizens’

Assemblies on the topics of; fashion, fire, regenerative agriculture and water.


Each assembly consisted of expert testimony and a period of deliberation, before participants workshopped policy ideas and voted upon the proposals presented to the ‘Assembly’.


AIM OF THE EVENT


These mock Citizens’ Assemblies were designed to give participants an idea of how a randomly selected, informed, deliberative assembly would function. The aim in sharing these findings is to show that ordinary people, given time and access to expert information, can come up with innovative solutions to some of the problems facing our society in the era of climate crisis.


TWO KEY DIFFERENCES SHOULD BE NOTED


a. Participants were self-selecting. While a sortition exercise was conducted, it was among self-selecting participants.

b. There was a very limited time for either becoming informed or for deliberation. Each assembly lasted only two hours, while for a truly deliberative, informed experience each assembly should last for a few weekends.


MOCK CITIZENS’ ASSEMBLY #1:


Fashion apocolpyse: How do we dress in a climate crisis?


SUMMARY OF IDEAS & FINDINGS


Labelling & standards:


  • Creating informed consumers - An annual Ethical Fashion Report which should include factors measuring sustainability and environmental impact on top of labour and fair wages. Information should be displayed at the point of purchase, so that it can be easily processed and identified by consumers (blockchain, to make it easy to track) and should include an “ingredients list”: VOTES: 19/19 (100% support!)


  • A fashion tax: Paying the real costs- A tax on imported fabric, which can be fed back into the industry either in standards and labelling, or into the producing countries (non-tradable carbon emissions or also for other things which would improve standards). Tax to be representative of negative externalities and used to subsidise ethical/ ecologically regenerative producers: VOTES: 18/19 (95% support)


  • Advertising standards across all media: VOTES: 10/19 (53% support)





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1% of ticket sales pays the rent on stolen land

We acknowledge First Nations Peoples of Australia and the Torres Strait Islands as the custodians of the unceded lands upon which we conduct activities and the enormous challenges that the climate crisis is playing on land, ocean, biosphere, biodiversity and people.

 

We acknowledge the importance of Indigenous knowledge and wisdom in the process of addressing the climate emergency, and also acknowledge the people of the Pacific region as also being at the forefront of the climate emergency.

 

Furthermore, we acknowledge that Australia is in a climate emergency and that actions and solutions for a safe climate, an environmental, and socially just transition need to be developed and implemented immediately.

 

Our aim is to accelerate change for a just transition, starting locally but thinking and acting globally.