Talking about a Revolution.
This week marks 5 years since the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in Bangladesh, and the beginning of another Fashion Revolution week.
There have been many improvements in the fashion industry in the last 5 years: sustainable and ethical fashion brands becoming more prevalent, Gucci banning fur, high street brands offering old clothing recycling schemes and luxury retailers like Vivienne Westwood and Stella McCartney helping share the sustainable message amongst the most influential companies. However, we are still many miles away from having a fair and circular fashion industry. Many people worldwide are subject to poor working conditions, low pay and health-damaging environments. Alongside this the amount of waste and pollution that comes from the fashion industry is still enormous.
Fashion Revolution is a movement that does not need you to feel like you have to change the world single-handedly (which quite frankly is depressing), it’s more of a circle of friends all over the world working together for the same personal goal. To help you get involved, people and brands involved in the sustainable fashion movement put on a series of events over the Fashion Revolution Week. You can even set up your own Fashion Revolution event if you like, but for you UK dwellers, here’s my top picks of organised events to swing along to. Be prepared to be inspired, excited and frustrated all at once!
When: Monday 23rd April, 5pm – 7.30pm
Where: The Old Truman Brewery, London
What: a week long event showcasing ethical and sustainable designers, workshops and networking.
When: Monday 23rd April, 6pm
Where: The Storey Meeting House, Lancaster
What: An opportunity for you to bring along an old garment you don’t love as much anymore and upcycle it into something good as new by cutting bits off, sticking bits on, adding sparkles, patches and appliques.
When: Monday 23rd April – Wednesday 25th April, 6.30pm
Where: Lauriston Place, Edinburgh
What: A campaigning session to raise awareness of the horrors of the fashion industry.
When: Tuesday 24th April, 6pm – 8pm
Where: Fore Street, Exeter
What: Bring along something you never wear anymore to give someone else a chance to love it, rootle through others’ hand-me-downs and riffle through second-hand items from top brands.
When: Tuesday 24th April, 7pm – 10pm
Where: Hanbury Street, London
What: For £15 the order of play is: 7.00 – 8.00 arrive with your clothes/clothes are organised and you eat some dinner, 8.00-8.30 – buy some raffle tickets and a few more drinks, 8.30 – 9.30 Clothes swap.
When: Wednesday 26th April, 3pm – 5pm
Where: Davies Street, London
What: Vivienne Westwood couturiers will guide guests through the design process and offer an insight into the evolution of the collections at Vivienne Westwood’s London atelier.
When: Wednesday 25th April, 7pm – 9pm
Where: Bowland College, Lancaster University
What: If you live up north and you haven’t seen this documentary movie, you really should. An insight into who really pays the price for our clothing, exposing the fashion industry’s dirty secrets and it’s sure to change your mind about where and how you shop.
When: Thursday 26th April, 2-3.30pm
Where: Fashion and Textiles Studio, University of Portsmouth
What: Talk topic: “Mind over matter/Mindful over Material: The Interrelations of Textiles, Repair and Mindfulness”, SU:STAIN’s Georgina Hooper will be leading a thoughtful and creative session encouraging us to bring consciousness to our making and consumption choices.
Remember if you can’t make it to any of these events you can always do your bit from home by asking a brand by email, in store or across social media “Who made my clothes?”