Along with six other students selected from across the UK, I spent the week at Hay on Wye Festival discussing sustainable fashion with representatives from H&M, the Centre for Sustainable Fashion and the Environmental Justice Foundation. We explored the possibilities of second hand clothing as a resource and looked into ways of making clothes last longer through clever transeasonal design and attention to detail and comfort.
H&M supplied items of used clothing from their garment collecting initiative; a scheme which encourages costumers to drop off unwanted garments to H&M stores in return for a money off voucher. We used this clothing as a starting point for new designs. Inspired by the idea of endurance, I created a transeasonal look consisting of a vest, blouse, a pair of trousers and a bag which could be worn together or separately depending on the weather. Made from a jumper, suit and pjama bottoms, I was keen to create a look that utilised all parts of the old garments I found in order ‘to close the loop’ on the use of these resources. After learning from Catarina Midby (H&M) about the difficulties of recycling mixed fibres I also decided to work only with garments made of pure fibres. In particular I selected garments made from natural fibres; wool, silk and cotton as the properties of these fibres make them particularly comfortable and hard wearing. See below for images of my work.
The week culiminated in a lively discussion between Catarina Midby from H&M, Orsola de Castro, Jessica Bumpus, Vogue and Margareta van den Bosch, chaired by CSF’s Dilys Williams at Hay Festival.