THE SUSTAINABLE ANGLE TALKED AND MODERATED AT MANY EVENTS JUNE 2019:
Throughout June, our schedules have been packed with presenting and moderating at many different conferences, educational workshops, events and talks in London – all these prestigious events were dedicated to sustainability – a clear sign that the fashion industry is finally putting sustainability centre stage where it belongs, and no longer considers it as a ‘trend’, or just a ‘box to be ticked’ in the corporate reports. However, a sense of urgency to act quickly and decisively is still too often lacking.
Fran Burns, The Store, 180 Strand
4 June 2019
We were honoured to collaborate with Francesca Burns, Fashion Stylist, who invited us to hold a workshop at The Store X for her peers, fellow stylists and friends in the fashion industry. We valued the opportunity to engage with stylists directly as they are uniquely placed to direct fashion brands towards more sustainable practice. They often take on a role essentially consulting brands, holding the power to engage said brands, asking questions, recommending more sustainable and responsibly produced materials, helping highlight and communicate fashion that has been created responsibly and sustainably.
Fashion is a key cultural communicator and powerful agent for change that goes beyond simply what we wear. Stylists are working right at that important stage of connection and communication with brands, holding a unique potential to drive engagement with sustainability.
supported by Lenzing Group, Old Trewman Brewery
2 June – 5 June 2019
The Sustainable Angle’s Curator and Educational Consultant – Amanda Johnston – hosted a daily educational workshop at Graduate Fashion Week’s newly launched “Considered Design Hub”, powered by Farfetch. She presented our “8 to Create” systems thinking framework, explored material innovations such as
Tencel ™ Lyocell using Refibra™ technology by Lenzing Group, and showcased how to exercise creative thinking when working with sustainable materials as per the dozens of Tencel™ fabrics on display.
The “Considered Design Hub” was introduced as a response to the increase in graduates focusing on sustainability and the need for more ethical and sustainable practices within the fashion industry. Graduate Fashion Week is the world’s largest event for BA Fashion talent, featuring 25 catwalk shows and stands, alongside a schedule of talks and workshops from leading industry names.
A Stylus Event, County Hall
6 June 2019
Decoded Future 2019 had the underlying theme of… you guessed it! Sustainability. With the aim of shaping a collective vision of what a more sustainable vision could look like, the conference examined everything from the circular economy to the impacts of technological innovations. Our Founder and Director Nina Marenzi moderated the panel “Sharing Is Caring: Is The Second-Hand Economy A Shift In The Shoppers Mindset Or Just A Desire For Discounted Designer Products?” Through questioning and discussion with Katy Lubin, VP communications for Lyst, Sara Arnold, Founder of Higher Studio, and Clara Chappaz, Chief Growth Officer of Vestiaire Collective, the panel discussed the ins and outs of the sharing economy. With consumers continuing to strive for a more sustainable and collaborative way of living (it’s estimated that by 2023 the second-hand market will be worth $51billionUSD), the panel unpacked whether the key solution lies in innovative rental models. Seeing as, on average, over 80% of garments are worn less than three times, there is promise in alternative systems which create a variance in our relationship with our clothes, allowing space to experience luxury at a lower cost and higher speed.
organised by CoGo x Google for Startups Campus
11 June 2019
During London Tech Week, Google Startups UK and Ethical Living App CoGo hosted an event examining how innovation has the potential to create a sustainable fashion that ‘doesn’t cost the earth.’ Our Founder and Director Nina Marenzi was invited to moderate the panel on how innovation is creating a more sustainable footprint in the clothes and ornaments we wear – from diamonds to sweaters and handbags. Kirsty Emery, Co-Founder of UNMADE, Ben Gleisner, Founder and CEO of CoGo, Laura Chavez, Founder of Lark & Berry, and Leanne Kemp, Founder of Everledger joined together to discuss how each of the panellists’ companies is placing sustainability at the centre of its business. From using decommissioned fire hoses in creating accessories (Elvis and Kresse), to using blockchain for tracing natural diamonds (Everledger), to on-demand, customisable design (UNMADE), to discussing lab-grown diamonds avoiding potential problems with mining (Lark & Berry), and finally an app connecting conscious consumers to sustainable businesses in their area (CoGo) – sustainability was the key driver for these innovative and tech solutions!
French Chamber of Commerce, Spring Studios
13 June 2019
London Luxury Think Tank, a spin-off of French Chamber Great Britain, assembles leaders, pioneers and experts from across the fields of Luxury, Fashion, Technology, Research & Innovation, CSR, Ethics and Sustainability to share ideas, expertise and insights. It was wonderful to be a part of it again, now for their second edition, at Spring Studios, where the key focus was sustainability. Our Founder & Director Nina Marenzi was on the panel discussing “What makes a product sustainable & ethical?” Together with Nicolas Gerlier, CEO of La Bouche Rouge, Sylvie Bénard, Head of Environmental Sustainability at LVMH, and Pierre-Alexandre Bapst, Sustainability Director of Hermès, on a panel moderated by Brook Roberts-Islam Co-Director of BRIA. La Bouche Rouge aims to combat harmful plastic pollution of the cosmetics industry by implementing innovative chemical formulation of their purely vegan lipstick which is free of microplastics commonly used in industry, all packaged in a luxurious refillable case. While Hermès’ approach is to put emphasis on heritage, artisanal skills, promoting high quality and longevity of product life cycle. This conversation between key industry players highlighted the fact that within sustainability there is often not a singular, simple solution. There is always a necessity for nuanced, multifaceted, multidisciplinary approaches depending on the ethos of the brand.
Jumeirah Carlton Tower
18 June 2019
Kicking off with a Keynote by our advisory board member, Arizona Muse, The Telegraph’s Responsible Fashion Forum was a day jam-packed with discussions around transparency, traceability and sustainability across the supply chain.
Across the board there was a consensus that Environmental and Social Sustainability go hand in hand, the conversations should not be siloed. This was essential in TSA’s Amanda Johnston’s panel discussion (together with Patsy Perry, Senior Lecturer, University of Manchester, and moderated by Lily Gray, Head of Partnerships, First Mile) where the starting point of discussion was the effects of chemical usage on the environment. Crucially, it was a question from the audience that highlighted that the true effect of chemical usage is on the people who were not present in that room.
Water scarcity affects more than 40 per cent of the global population, and more than 80 per cent of wastewater resulting from human activities is discharged into rivers or the sea without any pollution removal (United Nations, 2018). Most textile processing is heavily concentrated in regions where water quality is already low, putting vulnerable populations at risk.
The perfect finale was hearing from Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Mary Creagh MP: Coincidentally the conference took place on the very day of the disappointing decision by the UK Parliament to reject every recommendation from the Fixing Fashion report proposed last February by said committee. This is directly in contradiction with the announcement the week before when the same government enshrined in law that the UK will have “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. We commend Mary Creagh for her work and tenacity: When asked “What’s next?” by a member of the audience, she urged everyone in the room to keep pushing for sustainable practice because the voice of the consumer is next, together making it impossible for the government not to listen.
As ever, at The Sustainable Angle, we are presenting thousands of innovative sustainable textiles solutions to the fashion industry that are commercially available. We have been researching and gathering these materials since 2010: we are busier than ever filtering through materials that are produced more sustainably and responsibly in order to ensure they really do have a lower environmental impact. They are in our London studio: see them at one of our masterclasses or book a visit to one of our workshops and will, of course, be showcased at the 9th Future Fabrics Expo 29-30th January 2020 – save the date! Early Bird Registration will open soon…