by Ruth Cava, Festival Curator
The Festival of Sustainable Fashion is a celebration of fashion, creativity and recyclability. Popping up suitably at The Old Laundry Building in East London, you can expect to find a Repair Cafe, The Big Swish Clothes Swap, panel discussions and stalls.
Sustainable Threads is our continuous conversational space, creating a platform for the fashion consumer to speak and be heard, taking inspiration from each other and focusing on consumer power and achievable, sustainable solutions.
Please save the date and bring your unwanted items of clothing to the FREE The Festival of Sustainable Fashion on November 24th 2018 at The Hangar, The Old Laundry Building, 2-18 Warbuton Road, London, E8 3SD.
Consumers have power, and through our roundtable we explored how we can best inspire and utilise this consumer power. What was apparent is how much we all care and are concerned about the issues coming to light in the industries. Plastic pollution, microfibres, throw away attitudes, and a lack of education in basic sewing skills taught to our younger generation, are just a handful of the topics we delved into on Saturday.
It may seem like a lot to take in, but our mission is to break it down into achievable changes that we can all adopt and incorporate into our lives. We have spotted an abundance of talent in the communities around London and we are working to provide a list of reliable and local businesses who hold sustainability as a core value. Where are your local tailors, darners and menders? We are looking for them!
Sustainable Threads is a collaborative project with LCRN (London Community Resource Network) and NLWA (North London Waste Authority), joining creative forces to seek solutions and offer resources and inspiration to encourage consumer responsibility in waste management. On Saturday 29th September we held our first event at The Old Fire Station in Stoke Newington where we welcomed the community to enter into conversation with us about current sustainability issues and attitudes towards consumerism in the fashion industry. We were delighted and inspired to engage with folks across the spectrum with consumer, long time eco-warrior, crafter and designer all showing up. Our minds are now brimming with ideas that we are looking forward to sharing, at The Festival of Sustainable Fashion on 24th November 2018.
The fashion industry and the consumer currently co-operate within a take-make-dispose paradigm. Fashion is fast and demand for the new is a constant. A life without clothes would be somewhat interesting, but do we need to continue mass producing on this global scale? It is obvious to many of us, whether we are, designer, maker or consumer, that the textile industry is running on a broken system that does not currently align itself to the needs of the modern consumer, nor to the needs of our environment and the earth. This is part perpetuated by the industry itself and through the media, which encourages capitalist led consumer behaviour in us all. But instead of passing blame, the truth is that we all have a responsibility. And it is time to take that responsibility and check our own behaviour. The Fashion Revolution have steered the campaign #WhoMadeMyClothes encouraging many people to start asking questions directly to retailers to trace the supply chain and demand transparency.
For decades we have been encouraged that spending our money and having more than we need is fun. But growing and creating the things we need is fun, empowering and rewarding. Working with our hands, sharing the story of an item you love to wear, have mended, or made yourself, is a beautiful thing.
And as we now witness how much waste we are burying in the ground, dumping into our rivers and oceans, or burning at incineration plants, it is time to say no to Black Friday cons and throw away fashions. Join us on Saturday November 24th in Hackney at The Old Laundry Building and save yourself money by learning how a ‘Made-to-treasure’ attitude can better serve you, your community and our environment
Blog post by Ruth Cava, Festival Curator.
Photography & web design by Matt Shearing.