Responsible consumption of clothes (on the example of jeans)

(Edition: Responsible Consumption, workshop 1/4)  

Main objectives:

Identifying global interdependencies related to responsible consumption and motivating to change consumer habits.

During the workshops participants will:




Pen (1 for each participant), paper (preferably recycled / reusable), a large world map, projector, computer, speakers.

To print:


1. Warm up: Talking in pairs (15 min)

Divide participants into pairs and give them 5 minutes to get to know each other. After that, ask everybody to say 2 sentences about the person they spoke to: his or her name and one additional information (for example about their job, hobby, etc). As in all warming up exercises, the goal of this quick task is to overcome the barrier and have a first experience of using the English language in safe circumstances.

2. Speaking: Bingo (15 min) 

Each participant receives the table from appendix 1. In each field there is a command starting with the words: find a person who… All commands are related to global education. The task of the participants is to find a person who meets the given criterion and put his or her name in the appropriate field. The names shouldn’t be repeated (unless there are few people in the group). When the trainer says “start” all participants stand and try to find a first person to speak with. When they are done with this person they look for another one, till they fill all the gaps. If they do, they can scream “bingo” to signal they are done. After that, give 2 more minutes to other people and end the game asking participants to come back to their seats. 

Once back in the circle, summarize the answers to the questions, leaving the point about jeans for the end. It will allow you to smoothly move to the next part.

While checking the answers to the question about three Global South countries, explain the term and show Global South countries on the map.

Example of definition: The phrase “Global South” refers broadly to the regions of Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. It is one of a family of terms, including “Third World” and “Periphery,” that denote regions outside Europe and North America, mostly (though not all) low-income and often politically or culturally marginalized (

Before starting the game make sure participants understand all the words in the table as well as the instruction of the game. If needed, you can present how the exercise should look like (by having a first dialog with one of the participants). 

3. Speaking and reading: Where do my jeans come from? (8 min)  

Divide participants into small groups. Each group receives the route which a pair of jeans covers before it reaches our hands (Appendix 2). The task of the participants is to mark all the counties listed in the route on the given map (Appendix 3). If needed, they can have a look at a big map provided by the trainer.

After a few minutes, ask the groups to show their maps and compare with others. Summing up, discuss the consequences of such a situation (large expenditure on transport, environmental pollution, consumption of resources, e.g. oil). If the consequences are so big, why does the process look like that? (because, it is still cheaper than locating the entire production, e.g. in Europe, where employees have to be paid more, their rights have to be respected, etc.). The jeans route from the very beginning (cotton field) to the end (hands of customers) covers an average of 19,000 km. Continuing the topic, ask the participants to guess how many liters of water are needed to produce one pair of jeans (10,000l on average!).

4. Speaking: Who earns on this? (7 min) 

We know where our jeans come from, how much water is needed to produce one pair, now let’s take a look at who makes money on it. Each group receives a cut-up drawing of jeans, reflecting the percentage of earnings on a given pair of jeans (Appendix 4) and the names of the earning elements, e.g. profit of brand, margin of company, etc. (Appendix 5). Their task is to match one to the other.

Correct answer:

Sale/margin of company – 50%

Profit of brand – 25%

Cost of the material and profit of the factory – 13%

Transport and taxes – 11%

Sawer salary – 1%

Summing up, ask about the causes and consequences of such a distribution of profits and how fair it is according to participants.

5. Reading and speaking: working conditions (20 min)  

Now, let’s take a look at the working conditions of those who are at the other end of this chain. Give to each person one of the stories (Appendix 6). You can adjust the level of the text to the person’s language skills (or they can choose themselves from easy, intermediate and difficult, but try to keep it proportional). Ask participants while reading to underline the words which are new to them and explain them before going to the next step.

Then, invite people who have read the same story to sit down together in a group. Give to each of the three newly formed groups the declaration of human rights (Appendix 7) and ask them to mark the rights which have been violated in the story. Summarize the exercise together by reading the rights which have been broken according to participants. One of the conclusions may be that the violation of one right very often leads to the violation of many other rights.

6. Listening: Story of stuff (25 min)

To sum up, show to participants The Story of Stuff, a video that presents in a concise and accessible form the process of production, use and disposal of things. The film contains plenty of information, so it is worth summarizing it by asking participants what interested or surprised them the most. 

Note: if you realize you are running out of time you can resign from watching the movie together, recommending participants to watch it at home. Don’t skip looking for solutions, as focusing on solutions and seeing what we can do as customers is one of the goals of the meeting and part of sayBabel approach. 

7. Speaking: What can I do? (15 min) 

In small groups (rather new ones, so participants have the chance to speak with different people), participants come up with as many solutions as possible that each of them can do regarding the problems discussed on the workshop (e.g. limiting consumption, checking where the purchased products come from, joining social campaigns, signing petitions…). Summarize by asking each group for one idea, without repeating what others already said and continue till all written ideas are mentioned. 

You can also share with participants one of the changemakers’ stories related to clothes, which shows that alternatives are not only possible, but they are already out there.

8. Summary (15 min)

Invite every participant to share their opinions about the workshop and one small change they are motivated to introduce in their customers habits. After that, ask participants to fulfill the evaluation form.

After the workshop you can share with participants additional materials (Appendix 8) and glossary (Appendix 9).


Do you want to prepare and conduct a sayBabel workshop on your own on this or other topics? Do you need to know more about how to do that? You can find all sayBabel rules on sayBabel or just contact us.