Fashion Revolution Day - Friday 24th April 2015

 

A few weeks ago on Friday 24th April 2015, I joined the Fashion Revolution! Thousands of people took to the Internet and to the streets to challenge the way the fashion industry currently works and ask #whomademyclothes. This year marked the second anniversary of the Rana Plaza disaster in Dhaka, Bangladesh, which killed 1133, and injured over 2500 people.

The Fashion Revolution was initiated in 2013 by Carry Somers, Orsola DeCastro and Jocelyn Whipple , with the support of a global advisory committee of academics, designers and businesses leaders exploring sustainable fashion and textile design.

"WE BELIEVE IN FASHION – AN INDUSTRY WHICH VALUES PEOPLE, THE ENVIRONMENT, CREATIVITY AND PROFITS IN EQUAL MEASURE, AND IT’S EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THAT THIS HAPPENS." Fashion Revolution, 2015.

This year, I volunteered to be regional co-ordinator for Scotland, alongside Niki Taylor and Annalisa SimonellaWe hosted a Pop Up exhibition titled “Who Made My Clothes?” at the Lighthouse, in Glasgow. This exhibit showcased sixteen reclaimed garments, the average amount disposed of annually  per person (WRAP, 2013). Our aim was to encourage cherishability by demonstrating a rich mix of techniques for refashioning items within our own existing wardrobes. The garments showcased included work from Prof Becky Earley, Shirley McLaughlan, 

We also hosted a master class demonstrating how to give back life to old clothes by successful costume designer and sewing teacher Iona Barker. Visitors were invited to ask well known brands #whomademyclothes by sharing a selfie using social media via our Photo Booth that will include a ‘Fashion Tardis’ for styling and transforming your outfit ensemble before staring in your own photo shoot. During the afternoon we initiated a Fash Mob on Glasgow’s busy high street. As we marched through the high street, curious passers-by asked us questions. 

During the evening we hosted a film vert, curated by Annalisa.

I would also like to say thank you to:

  • Ian Elder, Director at the Lighthouse, Glasgow and his wonderful team who provided tremendous support.
  • Jenny Fraser , at the Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow for hosting the  'Film Vert' in the evening. 
  • Laura Kissel the Director of Cotton Road who allowed us to host a free screening of the movie.

Transformational Thinking and Practice Field Day Publication

Check out the Centre for Sustainable Fashion's Transformational Thinking Field Day Publication online

An interactive menu of talks, design challenges and workshops were on offer for an eclectic mix of delegates to engage. I delivered my DRESS UP/DOWNload Design Intervention an open source fashion concept which explored democratized innovation through participation.

A meditation guru delivered some tasks encouraging us to explore mindfulness followed by a talk from Nina Baldwin about integrating this within the ciriculum. A talk from Director Dilys Williams presented an overview their journey establishing and building the Centre of Sustainable Fashion with an overview of their big ambition and ethos for moving forward. Dr Kate Fletcher designed and delivered an interactive session which encouraged us to step outside to forage for artefacts which were then collected and showcased to represent small gestures which we often disregard. Prof Helen Storey delivered a twitter salon and Prof Sandy black delivered a presentation on this history of knitting while we knitted! Drinks to Dye for were created within an interactive workshop.

The open source publication shares further activities and visual references which capture the essence of the day.

This day was very much a celebration of their achievements and members shared their practice and research in an interactive format to enable others to engage. I found this event really inspirational and left feeling re-energised with so many ideas for re-considering sustainability.

M&S Shwop Lab: Unpick and Remix

Last Month i was invited to design and deliver a workshop package for Marks and Spencer's new Shwopping campaign. An interactive fashion lab was curated hosting a series of events ranging from Debates, Workshops and Design Challenges.

I attended a debated between Dr Kate Fletcher (Designer / Reader in Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion) and Dr Mike Barry (Marks and Spencer). This provocative conversation provided a deep insight into the complexity surrounding sustainable fashion from two very different perspectives.

This debate addressed the word or even term 'Sustainability' and challenged what it actually means to be sustainable for both a consumer and a brand. Kate identified the importance of language and referenced the word 'Flourish' to compose a new narrative for sustainability and claimed she preferred to define consumers as citizens. The people behind the products are really important in inspiring and initiating change within consumer culture.

I delivered my co-creation workshop on the final day of the exhibition and facilitated with the support of two brilliant Ma Fashion and the Environment Course at London College of Fashion - Hannah van Grimbergen and Bianca Thoyer Rozat.

The concept was titled Unpick and Remix and enabled participants to curate their own fashion looks to develop new concepts. This was achieved with the support of social media, we used pin interest to co-develop a collection of online mood boards. These were expanded upon to unpick discarded clothing and remix new looks using a range of fashion de/reconstruction methods.

This was experimental and defined through a re-actionary approach. The public participants were central the process and played a pivotal role in influencing the final outcomes. I hope to adapt this concept some more through future workshops. The interplay between curation and co-creation is something social media has the potential to support the exchange of skills on a much larger scale.

A big thank you to Marks and Spencer and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion for inviting me to be involved. Also thanks to the public participants who came along, I enjoyed meeting and working with you on the day.

M&S Launch Sustainable Fashion Lab

LCF’ s Centre for Sustainable Fashion have been working with Marks and Spencer (M&S) to create the UK’s first Sustainable Fashion Lab in the heart of East London, at the Old Truman Brewery.

M&S, Oxfam and the Centre for Sustainable Fashion are bringing together an exciting array of designers, stylists and thought-leaders who will be exploring and debating the future of a more sustainable fashion industry.

The project will give M&S customers a behind-the-scenes look into the world of 21st Century fashion and offer the opportunity to witness the stars of environmentally friendly fashion at work. Eco-conscious visitors will even be able to try their hand at designing and creating their own items through expert-led master classes.

Customers can take unwanted items of clothing to the lab and each item will be assessed for potential use and will either be reused and transformed in the lab or handed to Oxfam to resell or recycle.

The M&S Sustainable Fashion Lab, in partnership with Oxfam and LCF’s Centre for Sustainable Fashion at the Old Truman Brewery, London, is open between 10am – 5pm every day (except Mondays) from 26 April – 9 May 2012.

The events calender is packed full of workshops and talks from LCF’s Dilys Williams and Dr Kate Fletcher as well as menswear designer Christopher Raeburn and Dr Noki

I am so excited to part of this event and  will be delivering a new fashion concept titled Unpick and Remix on the 8th May. Read the full event listing here.