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Tuesday 23 January 2018

Earlier this month, the School of Art, Design and Fashion ran ‘Fashion as community’ week, discussing how fashion can engage and enable communities in the themes of sustainability, social good and wellbeing.

Curated by Rachael Taylor, Lecturer in Fashion Design and Communication, to bring local and sustainable businesses together around the issues, the week saw a series of talks, workshops, installations and presentations to encourage everyone to get involved. Clothes were swapped, donations were given, and there was even a repair workshop to show people how to mend their clothes and electronics.

One speaker Heather Knight, discussed Fashion Revolution’s mission for transparency within the fashion industry – no brand scored more than 50% on its fashion transparency index, which checks how much companies know about where their materials are being sourced and made.

In addition to this, she discussed the many small ways people can do their bit for sustainability. Take a look at #haulternative on social media, or ask fashion brands #whomademyclothes during fashion revolution week, 23-29 April.

Eco2Wear

Third year BA (Hons) Fashion Promotion and Communication student Rebecca Gomme says: “It was really key for me to find out that how brands aren’t as open as we would assume they would be. I hadn’t seen the fashion transparency index before, and it’s something that will definitely help my final major project.”

Students also heard from Tony Credland, lecturer at the London College of Communication and part of the Propagate Collective as a visual activist; Eco2Wear, an award-winning local eco-design company; the Pants Project, a pilot scheme running in Bulawayo to address basic needs of poor and vulnerable girls in marginalised communities; and TRAID, an organisation delivering education work and international developments projects.

Emily Banfield, who is also in her third year studying BA (Hons) Fashion Promotion and Communication, adds: "I went to all but one of the events during Fashion as Community week, and updated the Facebook page. It's been very educational - I've learnt so much this week. 

"A really important message I took away was that more people appear to be changing what they eat for ethical reasons, but we need to be as conscious with fashion as we are with food. It's even down to considering the impact of throwing a piece of clothing away, because landfills are having a huge impact on the environment."

A collaboration between Christine Hammond and a student studying Fashion Graphics