The Changing Face of (Sustainable) Fashion
With all the problems of fashion and sustainability becoming problematic for even the most savvy shopper, there are a lot of questions around what we as consumers can do to tackle the issue. We are overconsuming clothes more than ever before. The fashion industry is now the second biggest polluter of oil, and contributes more carbon dioxide than air and shipping combined.
To highlight the issues surround fast fashion and sustainability, Winchester Fashion Week’s Sustainability Social event was hosted by Rebecca (owner of Open House Deli, a sustainably run kitchen offering a range of plastic-free products, including bamboo toothbrushes and Chilly’s bottles) and Paul Coverdale – founder of Winchester Sustainable Businesses. The aim of Winchester Sustainable Businesses is to help tackle the challenges businesses face when they want to become more sustainable. For The Open House Deli, their aim is to become a zero-waste business.
The two were also joined by an expert panel, Fiona Day – founder of The Happens, which helps people make positive choices when it comes to shopping for clothes, Dr Savithri Bartlett – a senior lecturer at the University of Winchester, and Victoria Kennedy (aka the Fairy ClothesMother) – who runs a styling and coaching business.
The panel each discussed their background, their interests within sustainability and fashion, and what they think consumers can do to help tackle the problems.
Fiona spent 15 years in advertising, as well as volunteering at a charity shop. Fiona explained that charity shops are simply a place where the problem is passed on as there is too much clothing that does not get sold. Clothes swapping is something Fiona thinks we all should be doing, and has a pop up shop where conscious shoppers can bring in unwanted clothing and get upfront cash.
Savithri expressed that fast fashion is ‘extremely stressful’ and decided to teach around fashion, including the module subject of Sustainability and Responsibility in Fashion. Savithri communicated that consumers need to only buy select pieces of clothing, even though they are more expensive, they will be worn for years to come.
Victoria meets with clients who show her their wardrobes, full of clothing which they no longer wanted to wear, and Victoria shows them how to wear them differently and how to up-style the clothes. Her message is against buying new – she wants to show people that the clothes they have are great, if they just learn how to style them.
‘We are overconsuming clothes more than ever before. The fashion industry is now the second biggest polluter of oil, and contributes more carbon dioxide than air and shipping combined’
For myself, I believe that sustainable fashion will be the next big thing in years to come, as consumers are becoming more conscious of where their clothes are made. However, cheaper prices on sustainable clothing is needed, as who doesn’t love a good bargain? As a University student with not a lot of money, the high street and fast fashion has always been great for me as it is cheap and cheerful! But sustainable fashion needs to become more affordable and accessible for the everyday consumers. As I have become more aware of the problems of fashion, I want to be able to make a difference, even though I still shop with fast fashion brands, a small difference can go a long way! Here are some tips on what you can do to get involved:
Go charity shopping
I feel that charity shop clothing is quite frowned upon and this should change. Grab some friends and spend the day out exploring charity shops, there are always some great bargains and hidden gems you can find. Set yourself challenges such as having to buy an outfit for no more than £10, to make it more fun!
Depop is an app where people buy and sell clothing, which you should definitely check out! It’s a great place to find unique clothing and get creative with your looks.
Check out the Good On You app
Good On You is great to show you different ethical brands and also tells you how your favourite brand compares. It is super insightful and can help show you what the brands you love are doing to be ethical.
The Open House Deli is located at 4a Middle Brook Street, Winchester. Open Monday – Friday 7am – 5pm and Saturday – Sunday 8am – 5pm.
For more information on the businesses, please visit:
Open House Deli
Winchester Sustainable Business
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