Since it was founded in 2005, the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (better known as AIME) has helped more than 25,000 Indigenous students access free tutoring sessions and transition successfully from school to university. Its black hoodies (with the “AIME” logo scrawled across the front), which were first released in 2010, have played a huge role in raising awareness about the non-profit and getting university students on board as volunteers.
Now, though, in light of the impact of the fashion industry on the environment, it’s changing tact. And, in typical AIME form, it’s taking a creative approach.
On Friday, September 13 it’ll be launching No New Clothes, a capsule clothing collection. The line will use dead-stock fabric from Australian brands including MJ Bale, AS Colour and McTavish, which will be reworked by artists, fashion designers and the kids in the AIME program. All money raised from the collection will benefit AIME.
“I was reading Gone Surfing from Yvon Chouinard, the Patagonia founder, [and] I was riding the subway daily in NYC as we were running our US campaign, and the hugeness of waste was all around me,” AIME founder Jack Manning Bancroft tells Broadsheet. “[Ksubi co-founder] Dan Single was reading the same book and we were thinking about how we could do the most amount of good with AIME Apparel – and we came up with the idea of No New Clothes.
“We didn't want to scream at the fashion industry, we wanted to be a friend and solution to challenges they face with leftover stock and material, the waste challenges and the PR challenges that come with it.”
The collection will be launched with an all-day party at multiple locations across Sydney. At 7am, local students and residents can head to Bondi’s Bucket List for a dawn disco that’s practically on the beach. Breakfast will be served and there’ll be live music by Bang Gang DJs, AIME mentees and some surprise guests. Partiers will be able to build their own No New Clothes garments at interactive clothing stations.
From 12pm the party will move to Martin Place, where Suits for Suits – a collection of reworked dead stock MJ Bale suits – will be launched. Artist Bronwyn Bancroft, actor Yael Stone, sculptor Dion Horstmans, Dan Single and kids from the mentoring program have all donated their time to design the suits, which will be auctioned off and displayed at MJ Bale stores around Australia.
The final event will kick off at 5pm in Marrickville. An AIME shop selling the reworked garments will open, with night markets selling items from AS Colour, McTavish and other partners. Bang Gang DJs will again soundtrack the event, and there’ll be mural-making, interactive design experiences and on-site clothing creation.
“We’re gonna have a red-hot crack at doing the greatest amount of good with this thing,” says Manning Bancroft. “There’ll be a heap of hustle and seizing the opportunities. And freedom as we wanna be open to all sorts of imaginative ways we can collab with great people who are looking to see things change.
“We all have a responsibility … to the Earth we are lucky enough to inhabit, to try leave it in a better place than when we entered it. Climate change and rising seas is the one of the greatest challenges our species has ever faced – we all gotta act, from small punk groups like us, to everyday punters and the big cats who control so much.”
The money raised from the campaign will go towards increasing AIME’s mentoring program from 8000 students currently (in Australia, Uganda, South Africa and Nigeria) to 50,000 young people worldwide by 2023.
The No New Clothes launch will start at 7am on Friday, September 13. All the details are here.