From the 24th – 30th April, globally we have been celebrating Fashion Revolution Week and it’s been a powerful message. Have you been supporting the movement?
What is Fashion Revolution you may ask?
“Fashion Revolution is a global movement calling for greater transparency, sustainability and ethics in the fashion industry”
Worryingly, we are living in an increasingly disposable ‘throw-away society’ which is becoming environmentally damaging, not to mention exploitative. Have you ever asked yourself where do your clothes come from? Who made my clothes? Are they damaging and costing the planet to produce?
Fashion Revolution Week occurs over the time of the Rana Plaza Factory collapse which killed 1,138 people with many more injured on the 24th April 2013.
We desperately need to change the way we source and manufacture our clothes and SLOW DOWN THIS FAST FASHION. The Fashion Revolution Week campaign aims to highlight just #whomademyclothes and demand a more ethical supply chain.
On Wednesday evening I attended Fashion Revolution Edinburgh, in association with Colour Elements, Tartan Brunette and The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation. This event brought together local makers to showcase their fashion and brands as well as an opportunity to add their voice to the conversation on the future of ethical fashion. It opened my eyes to the fashion movement and just how much, we as designers have a responsibility to support this movement.
FASHION AND INTERIORS
And although I keep referring to fashion, it’s these messages of production of fabrics and manufacturing that apply just as greatly to the interiors industry as they do to clothing.
As designers, we must all do our bit to help slow down this throw-away concept and increase awareness of sustainability.
We can all start by asking ourselves the following:
1. When you are designing your products how do you ensure that your brand has a lower environmental issue impact?
All my Mairi Helena products are printed in the UK, this is something I have always felt extremely strongly about from the beginning. I work with local micro-manufacturers who also share the same ethics as I do. For example Edinburgh based, zero-waste micro-manufacturers Kalopsia Collective, who have recently successful smashed their kickstart project designed to help local designers to manufacturer and produce in a more sustainable way.
2. What are your production processes and how do they encourage less disposable habits?
Maintaining traditional methods is key to helping reduce carbon footprint. I combine digital print processes with traditional screen printing for embellishment and details. I buy my fabrics for purpose and not for disposal and ensure I apply a ‘zero-waste’ attitude. For example, offcuts are created into fashion accessories, one off garments or sample swatches. My fabrics are ordered to demand rather than stocked.
3. What is your view on trends in interiors?
I’m aware of trends but I don’t follow them. Instead I allow my individual influences and inspirations to create my designs, designing a product which is fresh and full of personality. Never be afraid to carve your own vision! Through doing so, you will help to avoid the pitfall of short term trend spikes and wasted production.
Be aware of trends but allow your own creative flair: above; Summer Thistle print by Mairi Helena, available as a luxury velvet cushion, plus fabric by the metre. All products printed and manufactured in the UK, created to demand.
4. How would you want to help in the future?
After attending the Fashion Revolution in Edinburgh, I left feeling very positive that the future is bright and that we are becoming increasingly aware, we are becoming more curious, more environmentally conscious and most of all more responsible for our actions.
It’s made me realise we must do more to educate our customers and the new generation of designers.
Customer perception is definitely changing and people are wanting better quality! They want products to last, they are willing to pay more for longevity, for fabrics and garments that are designed well and manufactured to last. This has just as equal a status now to how trendy the product in question is.
Fashion and Interiors Should Make You Feel Good! It’s Exciting!
Alongside this it’s important to raise awareness to those campaigns and organisations that are supporting this movement. For example, ‘Campaign For Wool‘ championed by HRH The Prince of Wales. Wool is 100% biodegradable, natural, totally sustainable and environmentally friendly.
Love wool, love sustainability, love the environment!
> So next time you buy your fabrics, whether for fashion or interiors, ask yourself where do they come from? Does it make you feel good?
> Shop local, upcycle, recycle, buy better quality and do your bit for the environment.
> Lesson this nylon onslaught and make the world a happier place.
CALLING ALL SCOTTISH BASED INTERIORS BRANDS
If you follow me on Instagram then you may have seen recently that Fiona, a fellow Edinburgh based interiors blogger from ‘Around the Houses Blog’ and I have recently started a new hashtag called #designupscotland which we’re really excited about! ⭐️Fiona and I feel passionately about supporting Scottish interiors talent, whether emerging or established. We want to unite the vibrant and dynamic interiors community in Scotland and showcase the best of the Scottish interiors scene- I’ve even written a blog about it!
So if you’re a designer, retailer, publisher, influencer or interiors addict living or working in Scotland, and your work or interests represent fresh, expressive, sustainable, ethical, contemporary Scottish interiors, follow us on Instagram and tag your interiors posts #designupscotland, we really want to hear from you!
Until next time…