Graduation day July 10th and a very happy bunny for recieving an upper 2.1 grade form my overall degree, a reward for 3 years hard work well received and heavily celebrated.
But what now ?
I have been rigidly searching and applying for positions in ethical and sustainable fashion, ethical sourcing assistants, sustainability writer, quality control, CSR and yet with no working experience in this field of fashion i am having a hard time breaking through.
Ideally a sustainable and ethical sourcing consultants job would suit me, I have a great passion for the subject and a desire to help change the fashion industry for the better. I want to help shape it into a responsible business and educate the consumers on how to change their buying habits and why they need to change how they think about fashion.
I recently went to SPV at Olympia and was very excited to find that Ethical Fashion Forum had a talk on, it was interesting and I felt priveleged to meet Tamsin Le Jeune and get her advice. She advised me to sign up to their new common objective site, (www.commonobjective.co) which is still in the making but aims to bring companies and experts together to help each other improve the fashion industry. The idea will be that there will be ethical and sustainable experts , some specialised. Retailers, manufacturers, designers and the like can match and connect with someone who can help them with their specific needs and resources to create a more ethical business.
My passion lies in all areas of the ethics in Fashion, so choosing a specific area to specialise in could be difficult, however at the moment I do have a good knowledge of Landfills, upcycling and zero waste from my recent indepth research of it all for my FMP.
From this area I have also developed an interest in the denim sector, so keep your eyes on this blog for more on that topic.
My Product Development assignment in year 2 not only recieved an A but also my tutor likes to show it off to other students. I covered an ethical knitwear collection and researched into wool extensively, interviewing the marketing manager at the British wool Marketing Board.... Wool however is a tricky one to consider, especially when it comes to animal rights.
So upwards and onwards in the fight to join an ethical journey into the known and unknown....
''Consumers are becoming more thriftier when it comes to shopping for their clothes. 'Charity shop
chic', 'vintage' and 'shwopping' are common words in the ethically conscious shopper's lexi-con.
But one form of clothes shopping you may be unfamiliar with is kilo sales. Popular with market traders and owners of vintage boutiques, kilo sales work by you selecting garments you want and paying for the lot by weight rather than individually.
There are textile recycling plants in most cities and large towns that offer this service to traders and sometimes members of the public, and vintage fairs around the country are starting to roll out their own versions in town halls and event spaces.''
(How To Survive a Vintage Kilo Sale Posted by SJP Oxfam Fashion blogger 12th Nov 2013)
Here in Southampton as well as an abundance of charity shops, regular Vintage events occur, including kilo sales, these have become increasingly more popular in the last year.
Clothes swapping events are a very new concept and seem
to have only started to pop up in the last 6 months.
Interestingly enough the idea is that you bring in good quality clean clothes that you don’t want or don’t even wear and swap them for things you do want, it is a revolutionary idea, the fact that this a circular solution to landfills is fantastic. People can keep swapping whenever they get tired of items of clothing or want something different, rather than go out and buy new and it is always about how you care for your garments that counts to the lifespan of it.
The main problem is getting people to like the idea and making it fun, cool and trendy.
( My own photo of items i got from a clothes swap event at Solent University run by 'Sust City')
Out of all the clothes a person owns, usually their jeans last the longest, they have a history, a relationship with the owner, the fit, the shape, the adaptability from day to evening wear,
look good with a T- shirt and equally good with a sequinned top.
However mass production, fast fashion has created a problem and big brand name retailers began producing cheap quality denim / jeans, no lasting relationship with the purchaser, bad fitting and poor quality, easy to discard.
The consequences of it all, is the massive environmental issues involved in the production of denim, accelerated by fast fashion. Sandblasting, for example, is a hazardous process and can suffocate a worker, some have died from this.
From the chemical dyes used, the waste is poured out into rivers and pollutes the local water supply, poisoning fish and any humans who drink it.
The actual fibre Cotton used for denim, also uses a huge amount of water. 1,800 gallons of water is used to produce one pair of jeans and also the water used in production added to that.
written by Miles Agbanrin.
‘’As ‘new consumerism’ sees shoppers’ demand shift increasingly towards sustainability and ethically produced fashion, jeans, one of the worst offenders in terms of human and environmental production costs, will present some of the best opportunities to make a sound business out of ethically produced apparel. The peculiarities of the UK’s relationship with jeans will make it easier for brands to convince shoppers to trade up to higher quality and higher prices, mitigating the costs of ensuring more ethical production.’’
Agbanrin believes that denim is the one item of clothing that UK consumers are willing to pay that extra for and he is probably right. Looking for denim in the charity shops finds only a small selection and of cheaper value brands. It would be a rare find to come across any Levis or Huit Denim, or even Armani jeans in a second hand shop.
Denim was a key choice in this project influenced by WGSN's Denim Kinship story and the indigo theme with mariner influences.
(Photo sourced from https://saralichouhan.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/trashed-couture-1.jpg)