AIME’S ‘RECLAIMED’ TURNS ONE, AND WE TALK TO MILLICENT LEE

Fashion

Friday 30th October 2020

Hip hip hooray, AIME’s ‘ReclAIMEd’ is turning 1 today. We love a celebration, especially one with a cause. ReclAIMEd is AIME’s response to the environmental crisis, as 100 billion pieces of clothing are made every year for seven billion people. AIME has spent the last year working with sustainable-minded global brands to donate their deadstock and leftover fabric to be reimagined – and reclaimed. As part of the project, AIME and M.J Bale have collaborated with M.J Bale donating 14 suits to be the canvas for Australian artists to transform, including artists and designers such as Bronwyn Bancroft, Georgia Hill and Talk Talk Die (worn by Millicent above). The suits have been photographed by Daniel Nadel and styled by Rhys Ripper on activists and artists, as well as AIME Mentor and current 10 Magazine Australia cover star, Millicent Lee. We talked to Millicent about her work with AIME:

10: Tell us about your experience as a mentor with AIME?

Millicent Lee: “I first heard about AIME when I was at Uni studying medical science, and how they work to eradicate educational inequality for marginalized kids. My mum always supported my education and she grew up in a remote village near Shanghai before coming to Australia and completing her Uni degree, so she really showed me that knowledge is power that no one can take that away from you. the fact that I grew up thinking that I can be whatever I want, is a privilege, so to be able to empower these kids to finish school, and to not be afraid to dream big is a cause I’m truly passionate about. We need more indigenous doctors, lawyers, activists, politicians, teachers, and artists because it’s hard for young people to be what they can’t see. As a mentor I help my mentees to set goals and be makers of change by first imagining the kind of world they want to live in, and then thinking about where they might fit into it. I’ve been mentoring for almost three years, and I’m currently a head mentor leading weekly tutor squads for indigenous students in Sydney schools.”

10: What’s been the highlight so far in your experience as a mentor?

ML: “Leaving each session buzzing with energy is the best feeling and witnessing the bravery and optimism the kids have is humbling. I remember one program day where the theme was imagination – they wrote poems about imagining the kind of world they want to live in. Hearing 13-year old’s speak with passion about issues such as racism and sustainability was pretty special.”

10: Why do you think bringing attention to sustainability in fashion is important?

ML: “Bringing attention to it puts more power in the hands of the consumer. If we keep demanding transparency about entire supply chains from where our clothes come from to where they end up in our landfills, it’ll create the right kind of change. In today’s climate crisis we can’t not think about how our purchase affects the environment, we invest in clothes that last longer.”

10: What advice would you give to the next generation to be more environmentally conscious?

ML: “I think when it comes to fashion, being less wasteful starts with buying less. Mending, swapping, and customizing old things can make them new again. Shifting from “what new things should I buy”, to instead thinking “how can I enrich my life with the things I already have”. Today I think there’s a lot of talk about sustainability and not much action. The next generation needs to point out the gaps in the conversation and ask harder questions that start legitimate change.”

by Roxy Lola

Photographer: Daniel Nadel 
Stylist: Rhys Ripper 
Grooming: Afton Radojicic 
Photo Assistant: Matteo Macri 
Stylist Assistant: Ernest Wichmann 
Thank you to Do Film Lab & Rewind Photo Lab 
Production by Rebecca Khoury 

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