On Saturday I went up to London to go to The Good Fashion Show, the largest off schedule event of London Fashion week. It was a pretty fun packed day and apart from catching up with some of the girls from Oxfam Fashion and the Ethical Fashion Forum, it was great to see some fantastic fashion brands, some of which I was familiar with and others I was not. Unfortunately I was unable to attend the evening fashion show due to the timings, train and wanting to get home my lovely girls. I am still waiting on images from the show but will post them as soon as they are available.
You may have read Christine de León’s critique of the event in her post for the Huffington Post and to some extent I can agree with what she is saying, but on the other hand this was the first year of the show (there is always room for improvement) and it was a consumer event, which I (as a consumer) really enjoyed it. I felt the market kind of atmosphere gave it a much more relaxed feel than perhaps something like the the LFW exhibition but would prefer if it concentrated just on fashion perhaps with vintage, upcycled and ethical brands separated into different areas with a bit more space.
I arrived just in time to attend the first key note speech for which speakers included Professor Frances Corner, Head of the London College of Fashion, Lucy Shea of Futerra and Lord Anthony Young, Co Chair of the Ethical Trading initiative. There were some really interesting conversations about the answer to sustainability in fashion. The general consensus was that there is no one simple answer and an integrated approach is needed including:
Positive communication – sustainable and ethical fashion needs to have status, social proof and ‘sizzle’. Rather than communicating doom and gloom and guilt, we need to create a positive image using visuals, emotions and branding. (OK I am going to try and more ‘sizzle on this blog, from now on)
Education – informing and teaching those that will be working in the industry in the future about sustainability. Currently this is focussed through the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at LCF.
Working with brands for change – through initiatives like the Ethical Trading Initiative, companies can work towards more ethical and sustainable supply chains. Involving customers and making improvements from the top of companies.
I don’t have time to tell you about every single brand that was at The Good Fashion show so thought I would just pick out a few of my favourites. I also attended the clothes swap, which was a real highlight for me but will tell more about that in another post.
Oxfam Fashion attended with a fantastic selection of clothes and accessories from their boutique. I treated myself to a beautiful beaded bag and was very tempted to get more, but had to save my cash for a taxi home!
I really loved the pinup prints on these pin up bags by Nina Bloom, made from old bill board posters.
For some time now I have admired Tara Starlet dresses from afar on the website, so it was fantastic to see some of their clothes in real life. The ladies on the Tara Starlet stand also had the most amazing retro hair and make up.
Tell Us Fashion have just launched an Ethical Fashion Boutique dedicated to supporting emerging talent. I would definitely recommend checking it out as it has some fantastic pieces on it. I particularly love the REtrose as modelled in the image above!
Fashion ComPassion work with ethically responsible brands from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Their display included some pretty amazing hand embroidered bags.
I took my old moth eaten cashmere jumper to Love Turtle Doves and they exchanged it for a cute pair of cashmere gloves/ arm warmers which I am wearing as I write this post.
Last but not least, I loved the handpainted t shirts by Indigreen and decided to get one for Mr Style Eyes, he virtually never buys clothes so I thought he could do with something new. The t shirts are made from organic cotton and hand painted in India by artists that used to paint the Bollywood billboards before digital media arrived. What I really love is that each of the designs has its own story.
So what do you think, does it sound like good fun? would you consider attending if it runs next year?
With warmest wishes