Yesterday evening ATTYRE took a trip to Hammersmith’s St Pauls church to celebrate the best of sustainable British brands. The event was hosted by The ethical Fashion Collective, run by a small group of London College of Fashion Students. This was their second annual charity event raising money for Rehema – a not-for-profit project based in Tanzania that works with women and orphans living in difficult situations. Rehema helps by employing women for textile work, giving them the opportunity to lead better lives.
The success of last year’s fundraising event gave one woman the opportunity to build her own home, as well as help fund two new water wells. This year funds raised will go towards providing new materials in order to employ more women within the scheme.
The turnout was impressive, and as I walked around I noticed people of all ages milling around the fashion, beauty and accessories stalls, networking and enjoying the free refreshments. Making my way around the hall, I noticed the raffle ticket girls and made a donation. I’m still waiting to hear that I’ve won that Lush Cosmetics Gift Box!
Before the show a panel discussion took place. Among the speakers were Safia Minney of People Tree, Journalist and TV presenter Lucy Siegle, founder of Pants to Poverty, Ben Ramsden, and Tamsin Lejeune, manager of Ethical Fashion Forum. A short film was played, highlighting the issues within the Bangladeshi garment industry, and reminding us all of the importance of why we were there. This led to an open discussion on how ethical fashion is progressing, yet retailers still need to take responsibility when it comes to creating a transparent supply chain.
A label I hadn’t previously heard of was Manchester born graphic print menswear t-shirt company Run and Fell. I spoke to the founder, who established the label 3 years ago, and she told me that her designs are currently stocked at Brothers We Stand. Women’s labels far outweigh men’s in the ethical fashion world, so it was great to see a few names that focused specifically on sustainable menswear.
Menswear Boutique Brothers we Stand made placards for the runway, with slogans such as “Who made your shirt?”, while t-shirts with the words “Well Made” were showcased at Mantis World, designed especially for the show. At the end, we all had a chance to browse and ask questions, and I came back (and I’m sure I speak for many others), uplifted and anticipating the future for sustainable design. I’ll definitely be returning next year, where I hope to discover many more brands flying the flag for fair fashion.
To find out more about the Ethical Fashion Collective, you can follow them on Twitter.