From fashion shows to festivals
SWAP SHOP SEW
SWAP SHOP SEW was organised by Upcycle Fashion and fairandfunky, both Holmfirth-based businesses, and funded by the Bright Green Community Trust to bring a unique event to the Holme Valley to raise awareness of textile waste, and provide re-use solutions within the community.
– SWAP your unwanted clothing for other pre-loved items
– SHOP for ethical, fairtrade, organic and handmade textiles from local businesses
– SEW your own upcycled textiles at our drop-in Upcycle Fashion workshop all afternoon.
Next SWAP SHOP SEW: 21 April 2018.
Swish and Style
Tired of your t-shirts? Wish you had some different dresses? Save money by bringing along your unwanted (but wearable) clothes to one of seven Swish and Style events and go home with a ‘new-to-you’ outfit. The events were open to people who live, work or study in one of the seven north London boroughs (Barnet, Camden, Enfield, Hackney, Haringey, Islington and Waltham Forest) and are completely free to attend.
Swish and style is a really simple concept - have a clear out and bring good quality clothes to one of the seven events. For each item you bring, you get a token that you can exchange for another garment. Everything is free and clean and everything will be re-worn and re-loved.
Victorian Fair Trade Festival
In April 2015 I was invited to host the fashion shows at this popular Fair Trade festival in Brunswick, Melbourne. Local ethical brands were sourced for three fashion shows throughout the day. Moral Fairground put on an excellent event and it was great to spread the word about labels including New Model Beauty Queen, Dharma Bums, and Nudie Jeans.
Whilst living in Sydney I joined the Australian board of Fashion Revolution, working alongside other eco fashion experts to plan and help deliver a strategy for this campaign in Australia. Fashion Revolution is a global campaign with the mission to raise awareness of and take action to support ethical working conditions for the textile industry. April 24th each year is a day of action whilst also remembering those who lost their lives in the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh in 2012.
The Clothing Exchange
The Clothing Exchange is a Australian initiative, coordinating volunteers to run exchange events in councils around the country to promote swapping over shopping. I volunteered to help out at one event in North Sydney at the Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability last month and was impressed by the venue, the turnout (between 40-50 women), the food and drinks provided and the volume of clothing that was swapped! Definitely the best clothing swap I have been to and I even managed to find a dress for myself in the small pile of clothing that was left over at the end of the night.
This event was part of a project created by seven students from the Arts University College at Bournemouth. The project aim was to positively raise awareness of sustainable fashion through the concept of upcycling. The group's mission is clear: Encourage young women to make more ethical decisions when it comes to what they wear.
London Green Fair
The Ethical Fashion catwalk, swapshop and workshops spaces were run by the MA Fashion and the Environment group from the London College of Fashion. Our group organised knitting, crochet and pom-pom making workshops, a fashion show, a bake sale to raise money for the Environmental Justice Foundation, a free clothing swapshop and upcycling workshops. Unwanted, damaged and donated clothing was donated and used as the 'raw material' for the Upcycle Fashion workshops. The Fashion Show included garments by fashion labels including Nancy Dee, Annie Greenabelle and Monkee Jeans. Many people were keen to take part in the workshops, hear more about the work of students from the MA and other projects we are involved with. The positive reaction from families was great and many brought their eager children along to learn how to sew or to work with them to recreate a garment that quickly became their costume for the day. The knitting workshops were co ordinated by Zoe Grace Fletcher and invited families and young people to learn how to knit for beginners and to encourage those who have skills but no time to begin projects they have had in mind for a while.
BBC Blast Fashion Festival
This was a free event for 13-19 year olds at the Sackler Centre at the V&A Museum and I worked with BBC Blast for two weeks to promote the event, touring schools, art and design classrooms and school assemblies to raise awareness of the event and BBC Blast.
On the day of the event I worked with Beyond Retro at the Fashion Recycling workshop to encourage young people to customise and embellish clothing to increase longevity through updating the style of the garment. Adding features including pom-poms, zips and ruffs was a popular choice for many young people. More advanced sewing applications such as applique and t-shirt customising techniques were also popular for those confident in using the sewing machines or wanted to develop existing skills and knowledge. Some visitors brought in their own current sewing projects or garments that required mending or altering. Working with a range of skill and ambition combined to provide a really varied, popular and interesting workshop.
Workshops also encourage people to work with friends, meet new people or to relax independently to spend time focused on developing a skill, reworking fabric and transforming a garment in line with personal style and preference.