Fashion students at the University of Portsmouth are running a series of events this week promoting sustainable fashion. The activities are part of Fashion Revolution, an international movement highlighting some of the exploitative and environmentally damaging practices in the fashion industry and challenging the way that clothing is produced, sourced and consumed.
Events are all taking place all week and will see students swapping, mending and ‘upcycling’ clothing, encouraging people to give clothes a new lease of life and to ‘swap not shop.’ At ‘fashion first aid’ the public are invited to bring in garments for students to repair, for a small fee to be donated to Fashion Revolution. The aim is to highlight the unethical working conditions and the polluting waste of the fashion and textile industries and promote better practices.
Students will be going ‘haulternative‘ – an alternative to the trend among teenagers of posting videos of their latest clothes shopping ‘haul’ on social media, encouraging people to refresh their wardrobe instead. They will also be photographing their clothing labels and using social media to ask well-known brands ‘who made my clothes?’
Deborah Sugg Ryan is Professor of Design History and Theory at the University and an expert on vintage fashion. She said: “Fashion is a multi-billion pound industry that employs some of the poorest people on the planet and has a massive social and environmental impact. Fashion Revolution is about changing the way the industry operates and changing the way we shop.
“Today’s ‘fast fashion’ – getting instant gratification through buying cheap clothes on a regular basis – is feeding that industry. We need to change the way we look at fashion, starting with our students because today’s fashion students are tomorrow’s designers, buyers and industry leaders.”
One of the most anticipated events is a screening of The True Cost, a documentary film that looks at the fall in the cost of our clothing and tells the untold story of the human and environmental cost. This will be followed by a question and answer panel discussion with Dr Ian Cook, coordinator of Fashion Revolution, Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan, Dr Matthew Anderson, an expert in sustainable and ethical business and other industry experts.
The film screening is on Thursday 27th April 6.00pm onwards Screening Room EW1.10, Eldon Building, Winston Churchill Ave, University of Portsmouth. Book tickets.
The students would like to encourage the public to come along and swap their clothes or have something mended:
CLOTHES SWAP – Thursday 27th April, 12.00 – 2.00pm Eldon Building Foyer, Winston Churchill Ave, University of Portsmouth
FASHION FIRST AID – Friday 28th April all day – bring in your garments for repair, students will be repairing clothes for a fee to be donated to Fashion Revolution. Eldon Building Foyer, Winston Churchill Ave, University of Portsmouth.
UPCYCLING EXHIBITION – Friday 28th April all day. Showcase of work by Fashion and Textiles Design students. Information about the Fashion Revolution campaign will be available. Eldon Building Foyer, Winston Churchill Ave, University of Portsmouth.
Article courtesy UoP Press Office
Feature image: Josh Hansler, 2nd year BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile Design student