Saturday, 10 October 2015

Slow Fashion and Sustainability News: September edition

I can't believe September's over already - the most important month in the fashion calendar has absolutely flown by, with designers and retailers around the world launching their new season collections and fashion weeks taking place in New York, London, Milan and Paris. It's coming to that time of year when the evenings are getting steadily darker and colder, but at least in the ethical fashion world there's been a lot to celebrate - H&M launched their new recycling campaignHuffington Post dedicated the entire month to ethical fashion, and the Ethical Writers' Coalition chose September to focus on the benefits of shopping second hand - check out my post on the best second hand clothing websites here.

Last week the Spring/Summer 2016 shows finally came to an end in Paris, where eco fashion leader Stella McCartney presented her "best collection in ages" defined by "colour, energy and movement", according to Business of Fashion. McCartney has seen her star rise even higher in recent months, thanks to a run of well-received collections and her swift response to allegations of animal abuse at her suppliers' farms, which sets a great example for other brands and retailers.

By definition, fashion week is about getting rid of the old and showcasing new designs, so it was both refreshing and intriguing to read Tamsin Blanchard's article on London Fashion Week for The Guardian/The Observer, which encouraged readers "to reconnect with fashion on a personal level, using the catwalks and the designers as inspiration for your own style" through repurposing items already owned and shopping second hand to fill in the gaps.

The "second hand challenge" was also the key theme throughout September for the Ethical Writers' Coalition, who challenged their readers to (1) promote second hand first, (2) simplify wardrobes and find the proper outlet for discards, and (3) value the work of designers and factory workers by giving new life to discarded things. Check out this great guide on shopping second hand from My Kind Closet, or a more in-depth analysis by Style Wise, who manages her own thrift shop.

If you haven't already, I'd recommend spending some time looking through The Huffington Post, which dedicated the whole month to talking about sustainable fashion and other issues affecting the industry. There's everything from quick reads on how new high tech fabrics can help climate change and London's best vintage shops, to longer essays on how to fix the broken fashion industry by Johanna Ramin, one of the founders of the FairBuy Foundation.

As I already mentioned, September was also the month that H&M launched their new recycling campaign, accompanied by window installations from London College of Fashion students who have been focusing on ethical fashion issues. You can read all about the project on Unmapped Mag, or find all the photos on the Centre for Sustainable Fashion's Facebook.

Was September as busy for you as it was for me? What other events or developments have you heard about that should make the list?

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