The International Society For Sustainable Fashion's annual Sustainable Fashion London symposium will take place on the 19th september during SS19 London Fashion Week. The conference connects industry, organisations and leading researchers in fashion sustainability with innovative talks and presentations, addressing the key themes of sustainable design, ethical production, retail and consumption, and education. This full day event is at the Crowne Plaza Battersea, London and incudes a lunch. International Society For Sustainable Fashion paid members receive a 40% discount on tickets for this event, and the offer extends to employees of business and institution members. If you're not already a member, ISSF membership is just £10/ €11/ US$14 monthly or £120/ €132/ US$168 yearly.Register for tickets at the following eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sustainable-fashion-london-2018-tickets-48765753682
The International Society For Sustainable Fashion were asked for their views on how sustainable fashion can become accessible for more people in a recent i-D magazine article.
The ethical fashion industry is in sore-need of a rebrand. Can stars like SZA be the ones to do it?
"Fuck plastic. Y’all ready to save the oceans or nah?” A few days ago, favourite singer of everyone with two ears and a heart, SZA, shared this caption alongside a series of Instagram stories. In the pictures were sweatshirts emblazoned with slogans like ‘Puck Flastic’ and ‘Sustainability Gang’, all of which seemed to hint that the star is ready to delve into the fashion industry. Other reports have claimed she’s about to launch a plastic-free streetwear line (the slogans adorned Champion pieces) and that the profits will be donated entirely to charity. A new account -- @ctrlfishingco -- tagged in the posts hasn’t yet shared any content, but all the signs indicate that SZA is gearing up to change the sustainable fashion game. We already know that this needs to happen. Fashion is the world’s second dirtiest industry; it pumps chemical dyes into rivers, burns mountainsof unsold ‘deadstock’ and contributes in no small part to the plastic pollution epidemic currently ravaging the world’s oceans. Industry experts may be regularly discussing these issues, but they still rarely make headline news -- until, of course, SZA came along.
"It's great to see that celebrities are willing to put their name to the cause,” says Debbie Moorhouse, co-founder of the International Society for Sustainable Fashion, a non-profit which seeks to raise awareness of the obstacles blocking a sustainable fashion industry. “It really makes a difference, as people are already following their style, plus their endorsement commands media attention and viral traffic -- [they make] these stories more accessible to people.”
Moorhouse points out that SZA isn’t the first star to release a range of ‘ethical’ products. Pharrell’s G-Star collaborations and Will.i.am’s Ekocycle lifestyle range are just two other examples; while elsewhere, Kanye West has praised and worked with Katharine Hamnett, a political designer whose dedication to protecting the environment is well-documented. These collaborations are important not only because they create conversation, but also because high-profile names undeniably drive sales: “Remember how quickly the Yeezy sneakers sold out? That’s what sustainable fashion needs to make it mainstream."
Although there are exceptions, the sustainable fashion movement has been criticised in the past for its inaccessibility. Brands tend to posit themselves as a luxury alternative to cheap, disposable ‘fast fashion’, explaining that clothing naturally costs more when its fabrics are responsibly sourced and its supply chain non-exploitative. But, as NGO Fashion Revolution highlighted with a handy illustration in its #001 fanzine, making these changes isn’t as expensive as we’re often led to believe -- it would, according to their calculations, reportedly only cost an extra €1.57 to ensure a €29 tee was sustainably made.
As Walmart recently discovered, trying to sell low-cost clothing at a slightly higher price is no easy feat. The Fashion Law followed its attempts to make sustainability affordable, penning an in-depth exploration which ultimately revealed that customers were either reluctant or simply couldn’t afford to pay more. Instead, they shifted their focus towards suppliers and were met with positive reactions. The problem with this model is that supply chains can be long, disparate and lacking in transparency -- the fallout from 2013’s Rana Plaza disaster is exemplary of this fact, as some brands claimed to not even know their clothes were being made in the factory. Ultimately, Walmart’s findings revealed that “customers may prefer sustainable practices, yet be unable to pay the premium, even when it’s very little.”
In support of World Day of Social Justice, the International Society For Sustainable Fashion was asked to help raise awareness of child labor in a USA feature article.
According t o a UNICEF report, approximately 25% of children in the world's poorest countries are engaged in "paid or unpaid forms of work." Worldwide, there are over 200 million child laborers, 73 million of whom are under the age of 10.
The majority of these children work on farms producing products such as cocoa and coffee, and around 20 million child laborers work in factories that produce clothing, toys and household items.
The most effective- and easiest- way to help child laborers is to be conscious of where we purchase everything from our morning coffee to our favorite clothes. "The simplest way for people to help and have an impact on changing the situation is to be more conscious of their purchases," Debbie Moorhouse, co-founder of the International Society For Sustainable Fashion told me. "Shop locally, look for the fair trade mark on foods, be more mindful of how products are made and consider more socially responsible companies or product alternatives."
Made With Love is launching as a global charitable recycling initiative to support the fashion industry to reduce it's negative environmental impact and help people in need around the world.
Around 1/3 of textiles discarded annually are good quality clothing items which could be reused. By donating surplus products and excess stock, manufacturers, brands and retailers can have a positive impact on the statistics.
The first partner charity to this initiative to be announced is Dress For Success which empowers women across the world to achieve economic independence through their employment 'suiting programs'. These aim to provide disadvantaged women with professional interview and work attire.
Made With Love are also supporting NGOs working at refugee camps in Greece who urgently require clothing for children aged 5 and under. According to Lauraine Velez from the NGO, Lighthouse Relief: "The children in Ritsona camp, one of the camps where we work, could really use these items. Since the camp has been set up in a former military compound, there is little shelter from the elements and the children get sick often."
Developed in partnership with the International Society For Sustainable Fashion, Made With Love will be an ongoing initiative and many more partner charities will be announced soon. Co-founder, Debbie Moorhouse says "This is an opportunity for brands and the fashion industry to be a force for good and collectively make a difference while also improving sustainability." Businesses and individuals can join the initiative by contacting us through the ISSF website and we will match your donations with our partner charities.
The first annual Sustainable Fashion London symposium took place during SS18 London Fashion Week in september. The conference connected industry, organisations and leading researchers in fashion sustainability from across the UK with innovative talks and presentations, addressing the key themes of sustainable design, ethical production, retail and consumption, and education. "The aim is to provide a platform for sustainable fashion during fashion week and create a discussion about how the fashion industry can implement sustainable solutions to address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of Production and Consumption." says event co-founder Debbie Moorhouse.
Sustainable Fashion London was organised by the International Society For Sustainable Fashion in association with the Royal Society of Arts, Certified Made in the UK and attended by members of the Made in the UK- Clothing, Fashion & Accessories Initiative including brands such as Adidas, Fat Face and Oxfam International.
The intention is for Sustainable Fashion London to become an annual event during fashion week. In 2018 the International Society For Sustainable Fashion will launch an international journal which will include industry insights and also act as a repository for the advancement of published research within fashion sustainability.
For partnerships, sponsors and advertising enquiries, please contact us through the ISSF website.
In April 2017, Debbie Moorhouse the co-founder of International Society for Sustainable Fashion was invited to present her research in sustainable design for fashion and textiles at the international design conference in Rome.
The industry report provides an overview of the recent progress and innovations achieved by fashion brands within the area of sustainable design. The paper also highlights the social and economic business opportunities that can be gained from integrating sustainable design principles. A practice led research project also addresses the role of education in creating a more sustainable future for the fashion industry.