• Ethical Edition

Sustainability Sunday #64


Every year the Fashion SVP apparel sourcing event takes place in Kensington Olympia, London. From an outsiders perspective I feel like this event goes a little under the radar yet it’s one of the most on-trend events I’ve attended.

As well as the trade show exhibits from international fashion producers, suppliers and retailers the event hosts several seminar sessions with industry professionals to discuss the current evolution of the industry. One of the key themes over the last couple of years has been the move to a more ethical and sustainable business model. The first panel session, taking place on Tuesday morning was held by Ethical Fashion Forum Founder Tamsin Lejeune, Safia Minney, co-founder of People Tree, Oya Barlas Bingül from the giant Lenzing Group and Eric Roosen of Starsock. The discussion looked at the business reasons for investing in sustainability initiatives, and more deeply at microfibre pollution and how to get buy-in from colleagues and decision-makers on sustainable alternatives. After a 250% increase in consumer interest in sustainability in apparel since the Fashion Revolution campaign in April 2017 these are issues that require immediate attention.

“We need to think through the entire business model about sustainability.” Safia Minney“We need to get back to natural fabrics as even using recycled plastic waste won’t solve the micro plastics in our seas & drinking water say.” Tuesday panelists “No longer is circular fashion a solution.” Tamsin Lejeune

Wednesdays seminars saw two topical discussions on whether the era of fast fashion is over, and how both brands and manufacturers can operate at the optimum sustainable and ethical standards and still win. Discussing fast fashion were Barbara Horspool from The White Company, Brigitte Stepputis from Vivienne Westwood who is a fantastic speaker, and Melanie Wilson from George Clothing.

“Consumers are buying 60% more than they did in 2000 but keeping the product for half the time” Angela Gaskill “What is the next phenomenal phase of change? Online, as it allows the consumer to be more informed than ever.” Kim Winser “Can buy less, buy well truly overtake buy now, wear now? Yes. And it needs to.” Wednesday panelists

Aside from the fab panel discussions, this time around there was a noticeably greater presence of sustainable fashion brands and manufacturers exhibiting at the SVP, including Safia Minney’s Po-Zu, Starsock, Earth Squared and Tropic Knits.

Fashion SVP returns to Olympia in June and is always free to attend so check it our for yourself then!

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