Eleanor Turnbull. Oxfam ‘Fashion Fighting Poverty’ catwalk show
Feel good about fashion by making the most of your own clothes is a post from That’s not my Age. It will make you rethink the way you look at fashion.
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Last week the government published a ‘Make Do and Mend’ report (my name, not theirs. And no, it has nothing to do with Brexit). The aim being to fix fashion by making retailers take more responsibility for their waste, end the throwaway era and encourage schoolchildren to repair and wear old clothes rather than buying into fast fashion. With a recommendation that ‘ lessons on designing, creating, mending and repairing clothes be included in the school curriculum’. This is good news because 60% of Brits can’t sew a button on. Meanwhile at London Fashion Week, I had a front row seat for Oxfam’s Fashion Fighting Poverty catwalk show, styled by Daisy Garnett. The runway was replete with stylish women in second-hand clothes getting behind the charity initiative. Stella Tennant, Yasmin Le Bon, Bella Freud and many more had volunteered their support for Oxfam’s campaign to save money, save lives and save the planet. Today’s throwaway culture leads to 300, 000 tonnes of clothing being incinerated or sent to landfill each year. And Britain buys more fast fashion than anywhere else in Europe.
There’s definitely a ‘making the most of the clothes you own’ mood permeating the atmosphere. Grazia magazine’s recent Big Fashion issue celebrated pre-owned clothes with a feature on ‘Hunter Gatherers’, a group of vintage fashion experts including Sophie Hersan the co-founder of re-commerce site Vestiaire Collective and Kerry Taylor the vintage fashion auctioneer. ‘Vintage isn’t second-hand clothes, it’s something with age and style,’ said Taylor, and to back this up Grazia published a fashion photoshoot featuring only vintage clothes. In the Guardian, fashion editor Jess Cartner-Morley has started mixing items from her own wardrobe with ‘this week’s most-wanted’. This is how it used to be. Growing up in the 1970s, I lived in second-hand clothes, new items were a rarity back then and there was no such thing as fast fashion. As a fashion student in Manchester in the 1980s, experimenting with outfits, adapting second-hand clothes and running up my own Bodymap-inspired tube skirts on the college overlocker was good creative fun. Style magazines like i-D and The Face regularly featured people in their own clothes and fashion editors often customised outfits or made garments for photoshoots
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