For several years, I’ve been aware of what used to be called Eco Fashion or Green Fashion, for me it meant consumerism and over consuming on our fashion needs. Working in various aspects of Fashion; PR, writing, and retail, I was all to aware of the huge amount of waste fashion creates and equally concerned about the way garments were made.
Back in 2015 I was invited to the launch of a new ethically produced collection of clothes from Zandra Rhodes and People Tree, I wrote about it here. Dame Zandra Rhodes, People Tree CEO Safia Minney and Ethical Fashion Journalist Lucy Siegle had been on a trip to Bangladesh checking the production was indeed ethical on these great designs. The evening was a huge success with Safia launching a book called Slow Fashion, a manual on fair trade production of clothes as an alternative to the fast fashion of the high street. I bought the book, it made for a very interesting read.
Around this time, I started volunteering at my local British Red Cross Charity Shop, I loved the fact that I was volunteering for a charity whose whole shop concept was based on recycling clothing for funds to support people in crisis all over the world. What could be more sustainable than charity shop shopping? I now manage the shop and I’m involved in supporting BRC shops by promoting them through writing, events and PR. Practically everything I wear is a charity shop find.
Observing the market, I’ve never seen so many people shopping in Charity Shops, people who don’t usually thrift shop are now lured by great prices, unique finds and sustainable fashion.
This year I was lucky enough to attend London Fashion Week in February, their slogan this season was Positive Fashion, meaning fashion that is ethically produced and sustainable. Big designers are extremely keen to deliver what the public wants, and the public Wants to Know!
This brings me to the Fashion Revolution. Fashion Revolution is a global movement calling for a fairer, safer, cleaner, more transparent fashion industry. This week is fashion Revolution Week, you may have seen people waving messages on social media asking, ‘Who Made My Clothes?’ The idea is to challenge the high street on production. 75 Million people worldwide make clothes, 80% of those are Women, some of those live in poverty, some are exploited, some work in unsafe factories and some live on very little pay. This week brings awareness to who makes your clothes and asks you to sign the Manifesto. It makes for very interesting reading. If you have five minutes check it out here.
On another not unrelated topic I’ve recently started sewing, so far I’ve made four cushions (two with zips, I know!) I don’t think I’m that far off making something to wear, dare I say I’m quite excited by the prospect? My teacher is my wonderful friend Rhonda who makes ALL her own clothes. Imagine that? She only makes what she needs and wants specifically for her needs. Check out her blog So Go Sew.
In summary I don’t really see how you can work in the fashion industry without taking part in the movement to provide ethical clothing. Brands, designers and buyers must be clever and cautious in their choices. As a consumer it’s up to you. Buy sustainable, borrow, buy charity shop, make and mend. I’m calling it Honest Fashion, the future of fashion is up to you.
If you have any unwanted clothes and would like to donate them to the British Red Cross Shops you can fins your local shop by clicking this link https://www.redcross.org.uk/shop/find-a-charity-shop
Love DSB x