Wednesday, 24 February 2010

The Sustainable Clothing Action Plan Conference

Yesterday I went to the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan Conference at the Southbank Centre in London. I signed up to the Government's Sustainable Clothing Action plan regarding promotion of recycling and reuse of clothes about a year ago through my clothes swapping website. So when I got an email inviting me to the conference and update which included lunch and the chance to have a look around the Estethica exhibition at London Fashion Week, I jumped at the chance.

It was an interesting, if quite tiring day. It took me so long to get there that I didn't even arrive until 11.30 missing the first part of the conference. The trek across Waterloo bridge (3 times) between Somerset House and the Southbank Centre (in my wedge boots) in the wind and the snow proved to a bit of an ordeal (I nearly ended up flat on my face at one point, much to amusement of some onlookers) and in the end I had to give in and change into my flat shoes for the journey home. The buffet lunch which turned out to be 2 or three canapes, the size of a one pence piece, didn't really do much to soak up the champagne which was in abundant supply and naturally I couldn't refuse.

There was an address by Environment Minister, Dan Norris and over 200 hundred representatives from the clothing industry, which got just a little claustrophobic in the Estethica exhibition at Somerset House. I did meet lots of lovely people who were inspirational in their passion for and commitment to ethical and sustainable fashion. I also saw some very gorgeous sustainable fashion at Estethica (more posts and pictures to follow)

Without boring everyone with the intricate details of what was discussed at the conference, there was lots of talk about clothes recycling, looking to the future and communicating sustainability. I though that it was a little disappointing that there was so little focus on changing culture from fast fashion to clothes that last as this would reduce so may of the other issues that were discussed. I suppose it can sometimes be difficult to see how this would fit into the whole business of making money. It was great to see how many big companies are getting involved though(with a few very notable exceptions, I shall mention no names) and lots of great initiatives going on.

I was really excited to hear of the launch of a new sustainable clothing range at Tesco this spring in collaboration with From Somewhere, I can't wait. Perhaps my pledge to buy only sustainable clothing is not going to be so difficult after all.

Finally was the drinks reception to launch Fashion Futures 2025, a project by charity Forum for the Future in collaboration with Levi Strauss & Co to help organisations throughout the global fashion industry plan for a sustainable future. A great chance to chat to more interesting people from the conference. Another more detailed post about this project to follow.

picture from


Glendy said...

What a fab idea, I wish in the US there would be a sustainable clothing conference, so much can be done here and so many clothes need to be recycled, thanks for sharing the info and congratulations on a successful swapping clothing website :)

Much love,
Glendy <3

Spruced Goose said...

The clothing and fashion industry has so respected and followed by all walks of life that we should be pushing systainable and eco friendly as much as possible and promoting exo friendly practices within our businesses.