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Sustainable Fashion Week: We don’t care about next season’s trends!

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Amelia Twine, Director of Give Wear Love – a Partnership member, is working with others to plan Bristol’s – and the UK’s – first ‘Sustainable Fashion Week’. It’s been postponed to the Autumn so Amelia and the team are using the extra time to invite more people to be part of the programme. She shares the latest news and opportunities to get involved in the blog post below:

Sustainable Fashion Week (SFW) is a project I’ve been working on for a couple of years, and with the help of a small team of volunteers I’ve been able to launch SFW 2020, now postponed until the Autumn.

Bristol is a bubbling hub of creativity and sustainability and the result is constant upshoots of unique activity that support a healthy future. It’s the perfect place to host the UK’s first fashion week of this kind.

Our focus will not be on next season’s trends but instead will be on upskilling, inspiring, and informing the community. We’ll be celebrating beautiful clothing produced by conscious brands, but in addition we want to start a conversation and generate action that changes our relationship with fashion.

My two core aims for the event are, firstly, to Change the Story, shifting the narrative of sustainability in fashion from one of loss to one of what we will gain from embracing change. The second aim is to Cultivate Inclusivity. The issue is relevant to everyone, and everyone is welcome in generating a new age of fashion.

The event will be broken down into a programme of mini-events spread across Bristol – held in creative and community spaces. In addition, we’ll be hosting a day of talks, panel discussions and other sessions, alongside a marketplace and workshop space.

SFW’s postponement gives us an opportunity to increase the breadth of the content and to include even more of Bristol’s diverse communities in the action.

The spread of Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the fashion industry, as we’ve entered somewhat into a ‘consumption quarantine’. The endless cycle of fashion has been stopped in its tracks. Almost an entire seasonal range will be wiped from stores and a whole multitude of trends will pass us by.

There are obviously serious consequences to this as garment factory owners and workers face risk to their livelihoods (major fashion chains have cancelled orders from their suppliers, and in some cases refused to pay for orders already received). But the other side of this complex coin is that we have time to really asses our relationship with fashion and our sense of ‘need’.

SFW has four key themes: #REGENERATE | #REWEAR | #REPURPOSE | #REBEL. What change can you embrace to support a more sustainable fashion industry?

  • #REGENERATE: Could you research brands that produce low impact garments using more sustainable fibres? Or ask your favourite brands whether they have a policy on modern slavery? The next time you participate in consumption could you choose the responsible option?
  • #REWEAR: Could you do wardrobe sort, ready for a clothes swap post lockdown? This area is key as it links to the tonnes of clothing that comes out of Bristol bins each year and end up in landfill. Textile waste is a critical issue and Bristol has pledged to cut waste of this kind and others by 65% by 2030. A much-needed ambitious target.
  • #REPURPOSE: Now is the time to mend the knees of your jeans before the tear goes too far. There are many online masterclasses to support you in keeping your clothing alive.
  • #REBEL: are you angry about the refusal of fast fashion houses to honour their contracts? Me too. You can sign Labour Behind the Label’s petition calling on them to #PayUp.

As SFW is community led, I’d like to invite people to get in touch to be part of the programme. We’d like a broad range of perspectives and for mini-events to be held is as many corners of the city as possible. Our greatest opportunity, will be how we can engage with a diverse audience .

In addition, we’ll be reaching out later in the year for sponsors and event partners to help us in strengthening our impact. If yourorganisation would like to support SFW, please email Amelia.

For more information, get in touch and follow us on social: Instagram: @sustainablefashion_uk | Twitter: @sustainableFWUK  | Facebook: @sustainablefashionweek | Website

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