Saturday, 6 June 2015

Upcoming ethical fashion events this summer

This summer there are lots of amazing ethical fashion events taking place, and I thought it would be really useful to have them all in one handy guide. This list isn't by any means exhaustive, just a selection of some of interesting events, exhibitions and talks in the UK and Germany that I've come across, so feel free to add in any additions to the comments below! American readers can check out Eco Cult by Alden Wicker, who posts every month about upcoming ethical fashion events in and around NYC.

Ethical Fashion Forum's Source Summit 2015: Future Fashion, London, 10th June 2015
Ethical Fashion Forum's Source Summit 2015 "unites business leaders from across the world with the experts and pioneers who are at the forefront of transformative technology across retail, supply chain, innovation and design." The full-day event gives you the chance to hear from inspiring speakers, get matched with experts through tailored networking, and attend in-depth masterclasses in your area of interest. Registration closes on the 9th June, and if you use the code 'Contest15' you can save £300 on Non Members Day Delegate tickets, paying just £99 for the whole day (including two masterclass discussions).

"Fast Fashion: The Dark Side of Fashion" at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, 20th March to 25th October 2015
Although I've already posted about this exhibition, I definitely think it's worth another mention as it touches on so many of the topics covered by The True Cost (review here), which is currently showing in selected cinemas across the world and is also available on Amazon and iTunes. According to its website, the "Fast Fashion" exhibition "casts a critical glimpse behind the scenes of glamorous fashion" by looking at issues as diverse as wages and profits, the social impact on fashion's 'victims' and future technologies through the perspectives of consumerism, the environment and the economy. I spied the exhibition over Easter when I was briefly in Hamburg, but unfortunately didn't have any time to visit - I would love to go if I get time this summer.

The Ethical Fashion Show Berlin, 8th-10th July 2015 (during Berlin Fashion Week)
I've just booked my flights for the Ethical Fashion Show in Berlin, which I'm so excited about! Taking place during Mercedez Benz Fashion Week, the Ethical Fashion Show is a brilliant showcase for sustainable fashion brands and this year over 130 are exhibiting, including People Tree, Helly Hansen and Komodo as well as a host of emerging new designers. The exhibition is free entry to trade, so if you're at all involved in retail, fashion, journalism etc, then the only money you'll pay is the cost of your flights!

Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair, UK wide, throughout summer
This year Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair is celebrating its 10 year anniversary, having travelled to over 30 countries and worked with Elle, Asos, Vogue and Stylist, amongst others, to promote vintage fashion and the concept of passing on clothing to be treasured again and again. The fairs take place all over the UK throughout the year, but upcoming events this summer include stops in Leeds, London, Edinburgh and Lancashire. Check out the website for more details, including special prizes for some fans to celebrate their 10 year anniversary.

"What is luxury?" at the V&A Museum, London, 25th April to 27th September 2015
This exhibition explores "how luxury is made and understood in a physical, conceptual and cultural capacity", and encourages visitors to "challenge, question and explore the general and personal ideas of luxury." Whilst not specifically related to ethical fashion, I think it's a great way of thinking about how we define 'luxury' and the special value we place on it - what separates it from artisan craft or handmade items? As luxury brands usually operate through a vertically integrated system, keeping their production 'in house' rather than outsourced, I also think they have a big role to play in improving standards across the whole of the fashion industry, so it will be interesting to see if the exhibition touches on this aspect at all.

Slow Living Conference, Berlin, 17th September 2015
The second annual Slow Living Conference in centred around how the concept of slow living can be incorporated successfully into business - whether that's tourism, gastronomy, design or the luxury industry. German-speaking attendees can explore the hot topics of slowing down, simplicity and sustainability, and there's an early bird discount for those booking before the end of June (€520 instead of €600, €70 for students).

"Future of Fashion - Love, Lease, Lend", Edinburgh, Thursday 23rd July 2015

Bert van Son of MUD Jeans will take part in a panel discussion in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland, during Edinburgh International Fashion Festival. The event is aimed at designers, manufacturers and retailers who will be able to ask questions and discuss the topics, and will be followed by a drinks and networking reception from 5-6.30pm. Burt will give an overview of the inspiration for MUD Jeans, the business model (which works completely according to the principles of the circular economy) and his ambitions for the future. The discussion also includes Claudia Domokos, Head of Supply at Rentez-vous; Lynn Wilson, Zero Waste Scotland; and more speakers yet to be confirmed. 

Are there any other ethical fashion events taking place this summer? Which ones do you think you'll be attending?

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