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It’s Fashion Revolution Week – here’s what you need to know.

Get ready for a revolution.

Fashion Revolution Week runs from the 19 – 25 April this year. This annual event centres around the anniversary of the Rana Plaza Factory collapse in April 2013, which tragically killed 1,138 people and injured many more. This forward-marching fashion movement, partnered with the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) works to support human rights, insisting on Fairtrade work environments and fair pay.

This week is a reminder for us all to pause and think, shop consciously, while celebrating designers and brands who are leading the way in innovation, and carving the future for a sustainable and attainable fashion industry.

#WhatsInMyFabric

This year’s campaign asks ‘what’s in my fabric’ to shine a light on innovative material making methods, with a lower environmental footprint. The material choice of a garment can account for up to 95% of a product’s environmental and social footprint, therefore materials innovation plays a pivotal role in potentially transforming the impacts of the fashion and textiles industries.

Non-for-profit pioneers The Sustainable Angle are the industry’s go-to for advice on sustainable textiles and fabrics.

Because materials really do matter.

There has been a surge in research and development in this area, with the industry  welcoming in an era of bio-fabricated materials; working and designing with nature to form new, sustainable possibilities: From algae to mushrooms. Don’t miss the chance to visit their West London studio to learn about these extraordinary new materials that are shaping the future.

And ask yourself this week and every day – Do I need this? Where did this come from? Who made it? How was it made? What is it made from?

Ask the questions. Make better choices.

 

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Listen up!

Fashion Open Studio is Fashion Revolution’s global mentoring initiative, “a microcosm of brilliance, courage and resilience, bringing together committed individuals, creative souls and relentless changemakers all who use their creativity for the good of many,” says Fashion Revolution co-founder and author of Loved Clothes Last, Orsola de Castro.

The Studio have pulled together over 50 emerging and established designers from 21 countries across Europe, Africa, Asia and South America to share their sustainable innovation, indigenous craftsmanship, cultural heritage, regenerative business models and new technology that demonstrate how we can all make better choices when it comes to the clothes we choose, how we think and how we shop.

Check out their schedule of digital events.

 

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Join in.

Kicking off the proceedings, On Monday 19 April is Fashion Question Time, the third in partnership with the Victoria & Albert museum, live-streamed from 1pm – 2:30 pm on Fashion Revolution’s YouTube channel and chaired by Baroness Lola Young, co-chair and cross-bench peer for the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group: Ethics and Sustainability on Fashion.

And if you fancy picking up some skillz and getting hands-on, on the 19 April from 12pm – 1pm, Lydia Bolton will demonstrate how to revive unwanted t-shirts, with some basic cutting and sewing know-how, via zoom. Apparently anyone can do this all you need is some old tees, a needle, thread, scissors and pins and you’re good to go, register here.

Once you’ve re-fashioned yourself a new top you might be feeling nimble enough to join Clara Chu, on the 20 April at 2pm – 2.45pm. Clara Chu will be showing us how to take a common household object – I see you bath mat – and transform it into a handbag (no, really) follow her clever folding techniques and hey presto. You’ll need to register for this class here.

Find a whole list of talks and events right here.

 

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Fix up, shop smart.

‘Sustainable fashion’ is no longer new-news. As consumers more of us are looking for transparency. The majority of us have come to buy less – buy better – and more responsibly. Instead of throwing out, we sell our pieces on – take the year-on-year growth of the Gen-Z hotbed that is Depop.

Or why buy when you can borrow? The soon-to-launch LOANHOOD  app will offer a clothes borrowing and rental service, where you can loan out your own pieces and borrow others:  “Our mission is to change the way people experience fashion and revolutionise the fashion system through positive actions. LOANHOOD is the fashion rental app for people wanting to make more money, wear more clothes, and do something good for the planet. Look good. Do good,” says co-founder Lucy Hall.

The app is due to launch in June – early ‘Loaners’ can sign-up here.

 

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And for those who are looking to invest in something that they can cherish forever, check out some of the designers doing (real) good and making waves, from East London based Raeburn whose responsibly made fashion line puts the planet first. The RÆMADE ethos in particular has pioneered the re-working of surplus fabrics and garments to create distinctive,  functional pieces that are ethical.

Christopher Raeburn’s fascination with military materials sees him create limited edition outerwear for both men and women, from wool field jackets to nylon parachute canopies. In a recent collab with Aesop (March)  he designed an ‘Adventurer Roll Up’ bag to carry around Aesop toiletries, and shows you ‘How To’ make your own by upcycling a worn-out pair of jeans or a tablecloth and saving them from landfill.

Then there’s the fashion-sets denim label of choice: ELV Denim, this chic upcycled, zero waste label is produced in East London. Championing timeless style, the pieces are seasonless, gender-neutral and size inclusive. you choose a pair and keep them going. Or maybe you’re in the market for some cool new treads? Check out Helen Kirkum whose snazzy sneakers are made from waste materials.

Also not to be missed: Auroboros, Bethany Williams, Phoebe English and Cameron Williams Nuba. But check out Fashion Open Studio right here, for inspiration galore.

And when something gets a little worn or you accidentally rip a hole in it, check out new company Make Nu who are sexing up the make-do and mend trend.

Stay tuned!

Over the next few months we will be interviewing some of fashion’s most innovative movers and shakers, holding workshops and events and supplying hands-on content so that we can make, create, mend, learn and ultimately all make better choices.

So, whether you’re mad for fashion, you work in the industry, are keen to hear about the latest in innovation, craftmanship and business, or you’re passionate about the planet, watch this space.