Livia Firth & Lucy Siegle On Sustainable style & The Mainstream

Livia Firth & Lucy Siegle On Sustainable style & The Mainstream

photo (7)On Friday 1st November ethical fashion ambassador Livia Firth and presenter and journalist Lucy Siegle hosted a talk about the future of sustainable style, held at the V&A.

Brand consultancy Eco Age is the brainchild of Livia Firth , and her ongoing project The green Carpet Challenge.  The GCC has worked on many projects in  a bid to bring sustainable style to the forefront – one of them being a collaboration with Net-A-Porter to create a  capsule collection designed by top british designers, and attracting an impressive list of A-list clientele.

In March this year, the GCC also worked with Gucci for an exclusive range of vegan handbags, and a couple of months later the ethical brand consultancy collaborated with luxury watch and jewellery label Chopard, to produce a sustainable collection of fine jewellery (Marion Cotillard shown wearing the earrings below).

Livia mentioned during the talk (which was the main focus of the discussion), that

“eco fashion is becoming more mainstream.” 

and the general consensus is that consumers are starting to gain awareness about where their clothes come from. 

Marion Cottillard Chopard

 “This is a movement not a trend”

 she emphasises. I agree, but if ethical fashion is to work, it needs to be presented in the same way as a trend. Trends are what people follow and what keeps consumers consuming. I can’t help but feel that the word ‘movement’ will not appeal to the average consumer.

To make ethical fashion work, it has to be
1. fun firstly
2. Secondly it has to be recognised as great
and then ethical fashion. Ethical fashion shouldn’t be segregated from rest of the industry if it is to progress. If the designer has the skills, a consumer shouldn’t be able to tell if the materials are sourced ethically or not.

V&A Talk

On the subject of fast fashion and cheap labour, she states

“Exploitation happens because there is disconnect.”

 Brands are aware that most consumers won’t question why their clothes are so cheap if they aren’t given that information. Retailers need to be more open and honest about their supply chains if we’re to be fully educated. Brands like H&M are making a conscious effort to provide their customers with a break down of where the manufacturing takes place and why it is important to know about fast fashion. Siegle is adamant that another incident like Rana Plaza must be prevented at all costs.

On this topic, Siegle made a good point that

“The model of fast fashion is wrong, not the concept of being able to buy cheap clothes.” 

The question is how do we change this model? As consumers, we have to want to alter the way we think, and push for change wherever possible. On the other hand, we have to support brands and companies like ECO AGE, who without them, the fast pace of fashion could accelerate out of control . 


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