The UK spends around £82million per year sending around 350,000 tonnes of clothing and textiles to landfill every year.
Most people don't know where their clothes come from, who made it and how? How much water is used? How many chemicals are in the dye? How much pollution is created? How much waste is there? How many countries have these clothes passed through?
Currently the focus on sustainability is at an all time high. People are beginning to ask more about the origin and production of their clothing.
Looking at these figures and having witnessed the fashion industry first hand I wanted to be involved in creating a kind, ethical, transparent brand that puts sustainability at the forefront of everything it does.
We set up this brand two months ago and it's our goal to run a sustainable fashion label using recycled fabrics, organic fabrics and innovative fabrics such as cork (tree bark). Providing jobs and ongoing work to people in the community around me and keeping a small, ethical label.
Currently, in our small brand, we buy in the raw materials (un-dyed natural organic denim for example) we then hand dye the fabric using eco dyes. These use less water and cause less pollution than industry standard methods. Once dried, we then hand print the fabrics using eco binders and pigments. These are also Vegan. We then make everything ourselves within the studio.
In the last 2.5 months since graduating and launching the business we've gained a lot of press and traction. We have shown the collection at New York Fashion Week and are in the current issue of British Vogue Magazine. Our press page can be found here: https://www.designsbyashley.co.uk/press
Where will the funds go?
The funds will be used to create a Spring / Summer collection with a wide range of sustainable fabrics. Initial designs for the collection include using fabrics made from recycled plastics taken from the ocean and more use of the cork materials (sustainably harvested) to highlight a greater use of existing materials to create beautiful but environmentally friendly clothing that is more easily accessible.
The collection will be used at events such as the Macmillan Cancer Support Charity Fashion Show next March.