Brighton Fashion Week has just celebrated its sixth year by showcasing the first sustainable fashion show in Europe in all of its glory.
Unfortunately for me, but fortunately for the planet (don’t believe air travel is bad? Read more here) I was not able to attend the Brighton Fashion Festival from way down here in Australia. Luckily the kind folks from the Brighton Fashion Week team were able to send me through a wrap up and some beautiful images so that those of us who weren’t able to attend the festival can experience the highlights electronically. This years festival explored all areas of ethical and sustainable fashion through a series of catwalk shows, workshops, debates, creative and networking events. Check them out below!
SCAP Presents: Love Your Clothes ‘Tonne of Clothes’
Throughout the whole of Brighton Fashion Week, Love Your Clothes deposited a ‘tonne of clothes’ at the Open Market. Love Your Clothes invited the public to visit their tonne of donated clothing to find out how to make the most of unloved items in their wardrobe and highlight the environmental issues of clothing waste. At the moment, UK consumers purchase around one million tonnes of clothing every year and discard roughly the same amount. Shocking isn’t it! Fifty percent of these clothes are re-used, however around 350,000 tonnes of clothing goes to landfill, despite all clothing and textiles being requested for recycling and charity donation. Brighton Fashion Week aimed to bring awareness to how big this issue is and how it is affecting the environment, whilst bringing the community together and showing the public just how fun and innovative up-cycling can be! The three days were structured around local schools, fashion students and the Brighton community all coming together to partake in educational activities.
Sallis Benney Theatre Talks
With this year’s event partnering with the likes of Orsola de Castro from Fashion Revolution, WRAP, which leads the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP), Ethical Fashion Forum, WFTO, Veolia and Novel Beings, Lizzy Bishop Founder of Brighton Fashion Week hoped to address every aspect of the fashion industry. The Sallis Benny Theatre was blessed to have hosted three world leaders in sustainable fashion talk about the future of fashion and raising the question ‘who made my clothes?’. A panel of experts in sustainable fashion, Carol Rose, Christine Gent, Claire Lissaman and guest Leah Borromeo debated on how we re-invent, re-think and re-define the future of fashion. All resulting in some nuggets of mind-food goodness from these leaders in fashion futures thinking!
“I am trying to show that sustainable fashion can be just as amazing as normal fashion. Fashion is the second most polluting industry outside of oil and gas. By just watching the world around us it is clear that a vital step needs to be taken in order to save our planet. We want to educate people about sustainable fashion and how one can remain stylish without having to trample over our environment to do so. With designers starting to adopt ethical practices we feel it’s important to back this movement and address the throw away culture, incorporating sustainable fashion into the fashion scene and working together to make a change” – Liz Bishop.
“Taking something that isn’t considered worthy and bringing it back to life is what upcycling really is” – Orsola De Castro, Fashion Revolution.
The brief this year’s Showreel parade was ‘Beauty from waste’. It tested each designer to create a wearable piece of art out of recycled waste. The finalists showcased their costume in a live choreographed show, where three influential creatives judged. This years winner of the Showreel design competition was Afton Ayache with ‘Les Couleurs d’Afrique’, who received a prize of £1000 awarded by Veolia.
“The beauty and uniqueness of African print using eco materials and unwanted clothing to promote poverty in Africa, really makes people aware that we do take our belongings for granted. This is what my garment represented” Afton Ayache, Designer.
Sustain Catwalk Show
The Sustain Catwalk show held on October 16th at All Saints Church hosted a selection of designers showcasing their collections, in which they combined innovative fashion and ethical thinking to produce unique exquisite designs. Sustain Catwalk designers led the way highlighting hugely exciting ready to wear collections, showcasing new environmentally conscious fashion. The collection of images above were some of my favourites from the designs on offer in the collection of images provided by the BFW crew. They are designs from (top to bottom) Claire Poggio, Gwen & Syd, Milkweed, Kitty Ferreira, Tiffany Pattinson, Novel Beings (hands down my fave look and one I would wear from head to toe), and Rhiannon Hunt.
Zeitgeist Catwalk Show
The Zeitgeist Catwalk show hosted designers who all bought fresh ideas and original concepts to represent the current flow of innovative fashion, whilst adhering to at least one sustainable pledge. The pledges included up-cycling, reducing waste, increasing longevity and designing garments with a lower carbon and water footprint. The catwalk show was an inspirational clear demonstration of how fashion and sustainable processes collide, without affecting the quality or the overall look of a design. My favourite from this show was the AMAZING boho offerings from L.O.M (first three images in this set). Other fab offerings (top to bottom) are designs from Gabriella Sardena, Fanny Holst, Isaac Raymond, Isaac Ava, Rozanna Walecki, and Leif Erikkson.
Photos courtesy of the Brighton Fashion Week team taken by Dawid Pietraszewski, Malcom Tam, Evelyn Frederick, Stefania Porcu, Rodney Beckford, Sarah Olivier, Abigail Eaves