Pure London is the UK’s #1 fashion trade show, and as my first year attending, I could see why. I’ve never seen so many clothes in one place – Pure London AW19 was heaven. Everyone from the biggest brands to the smallest jewellery sellers were there, and judging by the conversations I had with sellers and buyers, we were all in favour of one thing – fashion sustainability.
This year, Pure London AW19 focused on taking a 360degree approach on the way we produce, consume and reuse clothing. From the first few stitches to being bagged at the till, even the simplest t-shirts have huge carbon emissions and levels of water consumption – who knew? Finally, the fashion industry is putting its carbon foot down.
We all have that dress that we’ve only worn once. Often to a wedding, a birthday or most commonly, to prom. The production and transportation of prom dresses, release huge levels of CO2 which contributes to global warming. I spoke to ‘Anaya With Love’, a brand that is determined to reduce its carbon footprint and water consumption.
They are clearly off to a good start with the tulle used in their dresses made from 100% recycled polyester and all of their fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. So there is a point in chucking them in the green bin. They also encourage their customers to donate their used dresses to ‘The Wedding Wishing Well Foundation’, a charity that organises and funds weddings for the terminally ill.
Donating clothes is a brilliant way to recycle unwanted clothing so that it doesn’t end up in a landfill. Not only are their prom dresses environmentally friendly, they are absolutely gorgeous and I will certainly be checking them out when it comes to the graduation season. Keep an eye out for ‘Anaya With Love’ on ASOS as they are due to release their latest collection in the coming weeks.
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Renowned designer and activist Katherine Hamnett CBE, caused a stir on the main stage as she gave her speech wearing a ‘Second Referendum’ slogan t-shirt. She called out the government and big businesses who rely on the exploitation of farmers and factory workers globally in the production of products, most specifically – clothes.
Her aim is to reinvent British manufacturing and demand the same standards for the rest of the EU – yet how can these changes be made if we leave next month? She also recalled her own experience with fashion and sustainability. During her earlier years, her only goal was to be the world’s best designer – without batting an eye at the environmental costs. But in the late 80s, she became aware of the negative effects and realised that something needed to be done.
30 years later she is still recycling the same message. She commended the companies at Pure London AW19 who are helping change the world but criticised the ones who are yet to change their ways.
By the end of Pure London AW19, I was exhausted but pleased that so much is being done when it comes to fashion sustainability but it’s still not enough. We continue to live in a world where billions of tonnes of waste are thrown away every year – plastic bottles that should be going to my prom dress.
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What can you do to contribute to fashion sustainability?
Text: Sylvie Marilyn Keen
Images: Irina Gorskaia