Guest Blog by Georgie Polkinghorne
Fashion Revolution is an International Day celebrating sustainable and ethical fashion in key cities around the world. Cape Town commemorated its own Fashion Revolution Day on Friday 24th April at the Bello Studio at the Old Biscuit Mill. Cape Town’s fashion community, from editors to designers, gathered to celebrate the country's best sustainable and locally produced fashion.
Fashion Revolution is an exciting new movement addressing the lack of transparency in the fashion industry and asking consumers to question “Who made my clothes?” In the fashion industry there is a disconnect between the buying and making of a garment. The end consumer very rarely knows who made the garment and where the raw materials were sourced. Fashion Revolution is trying to change this. Tony Budden, from Hemporium, thinks the industry needs “to go to business unusual” and promote alternatives for consumers who are starting to demand these products. He wants producers to start “taking responsibility for the lifecycle of your product.”
“It’s not a revolution on style. It’s a revolution on lifestyle.”
– Tammy Nicol, Fashion Revolution SA Coordinator
Cape Town's Fashion Revolution launch evening celebrated the efforts of local designers and fashion industry insiders who are committed to the design and production of ethical garments. Even sustainable fashion does not lack style, despite one or two people wearing their clothes inside out to display the labels. Tasteful portraits lined the walls of the Bello Studio with quotations promoting the Fashion Revolution. There was also a sustainable garments display showing that ethical does not mean a lack of sophistication. The first screening of “Roots to Retail”, a short film directed by Ernst Heusser took place, showing the importance of a sustainable production process and the difference that employing local talent can make.
Everyone seemed thrilled at the prospect of a growing local sustainable fashion industry. They were eager to share information about their individual journeys and the importance of the movement. The emphasis was on encouraging everyone involved in a garment’s lifecycle in ethical and sustainable decision-making. Fashion Revolution wants to ensure as many people as possible know of the alternatives available for consumers.
The Fashion Revolution campaign has spread to 71 countries and this is only its second year. It seems that it is time for the fashion industry to follow the motto of Natalie and Kim Ellis, founders of The Joinery, “Do something. Anything.”
Georgie Polkinghorne is a guest contributor to Lionesses of Africa and reports on events as a Cape Town 'City Reporter'. Georgie is a third year student of Business Science at the University of Cape Town. She has a passion for writing and follows women's entrepreneurship, business and lifestyle events in the 'Mother City'.