Debate 1- Fashion

The first full day of the National Youth Assembly 2010 saw the delegates engage with the first of three debate topics, fashion.

A lot of the delegates seemed apprehensive about this topic, thinking it was not perhaps relevant to them and did not interest them. However, we were all pleasantly surprised at how thought provoking the chat and debate was and how passions for the topics dealt with were stirred.

As an introduction to the topic we first had our “Blether about fashion”. The Assembly was addressed by Victoria McQuillan who has recently launched her own ethical fashion boutique on line: www.thinkboutique.co.uk. Victoria talked through what ethical fashion was and that there were social, environmental and commercial reasons as to why we should be more thoughtful about our clothes shopping habits. Victoria also pointed out that ethical fashion is a consumer driven market; we need to give more thought as to what clothing we buy and demand needs to increase to make a difference.

The Assembly was then addressed by Sandy Horsburgh, from the Church and Society Council. Sandy talked about how the clothes we wear are an important part of people’s self image but also recognising that God sees us all as equal. Sandy gave us an idea of what the church was and is planning to do on issues of fashion and really challenged us to get involved and help tackle these issues. Sandy, furthermore, pointed out these particular verses from the bible to the Assembly:

James 2: 2-4

“Suppose someone comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor person in filthy old clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the one wearing fine clothes and say and say “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the one who is poor, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?”

The NYA were really grateful to both speakers for their contribution and it was clear, when the delegates went back into their small groups, that many eyes had been opened to issues surrounding fashion and a topic they perhaps were not interested in at first actually caused passion to stir and saw many ideas being thrown around and discussed.

Prior to breaking for lunch small groups were able to create their own statements, to be taken to the General Assembly in May, forming the deliverance for this topic. After lunch, all the delegates came together to have our first main debate. We were given a chance to read through all the statements created by the different small groups and were able to speak about these during the debates. The final deliverance will be posted up on the blog in the future. It was great to see so many delegates have their say in the debate. People were passionate about different things and as the topic was wide it allowed us to debate many different things varying from ethical issues surrounding the size of models, ministers wearing ethical clerical clothing, manufacturers of ethical clothing, the church forming links with charity shops and ethical clothing companies and even committing to holding our very own NYA2011 “swap shop”.

After the debate, this topic was one that discussion continued on throughout the weekend and it was great to see so many of the delegates form such a passion in this area. I think we are all much more aware of the issues surrounding this topic and we are definitely all going to be a lot more thoughtful when it comes to shopping for clothes and coming up with ideas of what the church can do to make a difference.

Keep an eye out for the deliverance we will be taking to the General Assembly in May!

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~ by Lynsey on September 6, 2010.

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