Take Brighton–a lovely place, but not a big signal on the fashion world's radar. They're missing a trick. This year, those of us with an ethical eye would do well to check out Brighton Fashion Week starting on October 15th.
This year's event focuses on sustainability. The theme is disrupton: re-invent the way we design garments, re-think how we consume and re-define what is possible through valuing and renewing existing materials. To that end, consumer group Love Your Clothes and Cancer Research UK are bringing the party to Brighton, in the shape of a tonne of old clothes.
I'm not exaggerating. A lorryful of pre-loved clothing will be arriving at the Brighton Open Market, along with a challenge to students and designers–make something with that. Visitors are encouraged to rummage through the pile to find items that they can reuse or retask into a new garment. Not sure about your sewing skills? No problem! There are workshops on Saturday 17th run by local specialists Sew Fabulous and Eco Makers Emporium. They include basic sewing machine and hand sewing sessions to give beginners the practical skills and confidence to tackle simple projects, as well as classes on upcycling old clothing into stylish accessories.
Visitors are also encouraged to bring and donate their own unloved items. After all, it could find a new home with an eco-fashionista that knows just what to do with that old top you've fallen out of love with. The whole point of the exercise is to get people thinking differently about the contents of their wardrobe. In the UK we buy and bin a million tonnes of clothing a year. Fifty per cent of these clothes are re-used, but around 350,000 tonnes of clothing goes to landfill despite all textiles and clothing being requested for recycling and charity donation. That has to change. An event like this is a great way to get the public engaged about simple ways to make their wardrobe more sustainable.
Jamie Perry, Campaign Manager at Love Your Clothes said:
“Keeping clothes in use for longer is the single biggest thing we can do to reduce the environmental impact of clothing. There is no reason for any item of clothing to end up in landfill – it can all be re-used, donated or recycled. We’ve got three days of great events planned to show people how they can give their clothes a new lease of life by repairing or revamping them and the value of choosing to buy pre-owned clothes.”The event runs from 15-17 October at the Brighton Open Market, Marshals Row, Brighton. For more info, and to book a place on a workshop, check out http://loveyourclothes.org.uk/brighton