Last week I went along to two events with Redress, the environmental NGO working to reduce waste in the fashion industry. Firstly, I got to see the launch of their new book: Dress with Sense. The following evening I went along to W Hotel to watch a screening of their new documentary: Frontline Fashion.
Both evenings gave me a sense that sustainable fashion is stepping up it’s game to attract a mainstream global audience in really exciting ways.
I think one of the biggest challenges still preventing sustainability from becoming the norm, is giving the average person access to information in a fun way. This is why I originally picked out the ‘fun’ world of fashion as my way in – being the industry with the most glamorous, but also polluting credentials.
Redress’s book ‘Dress with Sense’ has been written with the average shopper in mind. When you’re next browsing in Waterstones book store, this lovely illustrated cover will probably catch your eye. The book covers practical insights over 4 key themes: Buy, Wear, Care and Dispose.
I liked when Hannah, one of the co-authors, explained how they wanted the book to be positive overall. I agree the consumer is too used to hearing stories which are made to make them feel guilt.
All three authors, also including Christina and Sofia, spoke about their personal journeys into sustainable fashion. Each of them were different in their own ways. I related to Sofia’s Scandinavian influence, and got inspired when she talked about her capsule wardrobe. Since I’ve just returned from travelling over the last 3 months, this thought of treasuring a few key pieces really resonates with me.
Last night we celebrated the official launch of our brand new book, "Dress [With] Sense" in London. We were chuffed to bits to have all those who have supported us join us at @Goldfingerfactory, not to mention the amazing feedback that is coming from the wider world! The night was full of inspiration and tips – we heard from authors Christina, Hannah and Sofia, and were also joined by Dilys Williams (@sust_fash), Ash Black (@mrblacksessentials), @safia_minney @katiejonesknit, and Johanna Ho. Last but not least, we cannot forget to thank our publisher @thamesandhudson for believing in our vision from the very beginning and helping us realise this project. #dresswithsense #getredressed Thanks @safia_minney for the image!
Christina, Founder of Redress, spoke about her global ambitions with the book and documentary. The sustainable fashion community is global so we must reach them, she said. The book is now being published in other languages including Korean, and I have no doubt it’s going to attract readers from all corners of the globe.
Their documentary Frontline Fashion focuses on the journey of emerging designers during the EcoChic Design Award Finale. This competition is organised by Redress and selects 10 emerging designers to produce mainstream garments with minimal waste. They’re encouraged to use sustainable techniques such as Upcycling and Zero Waste, and get to present their designs to a panel of experts. Applicants are now coming from all corners of the world too!
The book and film are targeted at introducing people to the world of sustainable fashion. This made me reflect since Redress was also my first real look into the field of sustainability in the fashion industry. I started volunteering at their office in Hong Kong a few years ago, and during those days I got introduced to the scale of environmental challenges facing not just this industry, but our world. I’ll always remember a phrase Christina uses:
‘fashion is a reflection of our times’
My time in Hong Kong also inspired me to think how I could be a part of creating solutions, and how we can encourage every individual to realise they’re a part of the solution. I’m very grateful for the insight the work of Redress continues to give me. Now their book and TV doc gives anyone access to their insights, and I’m looking forward to seeing their presence explode in book stores and TV screens worldwide!
Dress with Sense is available from the following stockists: http://www.redress.com.hk/dresswithsense/stockists
Frontline Fashion is available on itunes: http://www.redress.com.hk/frontlinefashion/
The Ecochic Design Award is open until 3rd April: http://www.ecochicdesignaward.com