Taking it as a starting point the troubling fact Eileen Fisher (2016) highlights ‘ The clothing industry is the second largest polluter in the world…second only to oil.’ This shows the materials and cheap manufacturing used in the Fashion Industry can have a negative effect on the environment and ultimately on us. I see this as a motivation for creating a more ethical approach.
As a sole trader, my aim is to launch my business as a company which creates sustainable slow fashion collections. Slown fashion aims to cut down on the throw a way culture prevalent in society. By being honest and transparent, the brand will create garments with quality in mind. This combined with the intention of customers building a deeper relationship with the garment, is at the heart of what slow fashion is. The garments will be designed to be wearable art which we hope the client will treasure, pass down through generations or recycle instead of ending up in land fill. The brand will also cut down on excess by designing fewer collections with emphasis on quality rather than quantity.
By using sustainable fabric such as peace silk, organic cotton and pineapple fiber, my vision is to reduce environmental impact.
The use of peace silk allows the moth to safely emerge from its cocoon unlike usual silk cultivation where the moth is boiled to death. Another benefit of organic fabric is that they are free from harmful pesticides in the production process. This also means less fossil fuels burnt.
The funding will allow me to create samples for my Autumn 2018/19 collection and launch the collection to clients. I hope to be able to make ties with British garment factories as well as use my current connections with sustainable manufacturers in India who create embroideries, cultivate organic fabric and provide digital printing. These connections bring future employment in rural parts of India and pay a fair living wage.
The funding may also lead to future employment of staff as the company grows. I anticipate that staff such as a seamstress/ technical designer may join the business on a free lance or permanent basis in the future. I will use funding to purchase sustainable fabric and the hiring of models and makeup artists for shoots. The plan is that a proportion of the income from the business can go back into the business such as purchasing studio sewing equipment or screens for screen printing.
Currently I am converting a stable into a studio which is hoped to be insulated and lit with studio lighting. Funding will help pay for a decent floor and add a level of professionalism to the brand.
This studio will be the main head office/studio where all the ideas start! I also hope to be able to hire interns and pay them a living wage. Future ideas are to collaborate with WWF and other sustainable businesses to bring greater light to sustainability.
Collectively we are all responsible for the future of our planet. My collections are based on the belief that sustainable fashion can have a better impact on the environment. As Edwina Ehrman (2018) curator of the recent exhibition Fashioned From Nature at the V&A believes, it is not too late to make a difference. Ehrman (2018) argues ‘The hour is upon us, but if we act swiftly and boldly we can leave a world to future generations marked not by the suffering of nature and some of the people, but by a world marked by human progress.’ The brand aims to show that sustainability can be cutting edge, and in the long run beneficial to mankind. Lets make sustainable fashion a wide spread action.