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08 April 2024

GHSM students win prizes at Policy Idol 2024 for ideas to tackle 'waste colonialism'

The MSc students won the Audience Prize and Overall Prize at The Policy Institute’s annual contest.

From Left to Right - Tara Imalingat, Tolu Faderin and Isabella Childs_ GHSM students who won prizes at Policy Idol 2024
GHSM MSc students (left to right) Tara Imalingat, Tolu Faderin and Isabella Childs won the Audience Prize and Overall Prize at Policy Idol 2024.

Global Health, Social Justice and Public Policy MSc students Isabella Childs, Tolu Faderin and Tara Imalingat won the Audience Prize and the Overall Prize at Policy Idol 2024. Policy Idol is an annual competition in which King’s students pitch their policy ideas to tackle global challenges to a panel of experts from academia, politics and the industry.

In their presentation, Isabella, Tolu and Tara pitched a policy idea titled ‘Fashioning the future: confronting waste colonialism through student agency’. The problem they aimed to address is the large exports of textile waste from the UK to countries in the Global South. This waste fills up landfills and polluted local waterways. The team argued that this is ‘waste colonialism’ as it places the burden of waste management on the receiving country and perpetuates cycles of ill-health and environmental degradation.

To tackle this issue, the team’s idea is to involve students in UK universities in a campaign to encourage fashion circularity on campus and reduce the amount of garment waste exported from the UK.

They suggested placing donation boxes around campuses and at student residences, employing students to sort and upcycle garments for second hand pop-up shops and student led fashion events.

By giving clothes a second lease of life and promoting awareness about textile waste, the team hopes their policy will inspire fashion circularity in the King’s community and beyond.

At the final on 19 March, each team got three minutes on stage to pitch their policy idea to a live audience and a panel of judges including Polly Toynbee, David Halpern, Dame Louise Casey and Professor Bobby Duffy.

Watch the presentation

Watch from 1:17:00 for the team's presentation.