Last week, I went to a Fash & Mash Pioneers talk with Dan Widmaier, CEO and co-founder of Bolt Threads, the textile start-up that’s been working with Stella McCartney to create sustainable high-performance fabrics, such as lab-grown ‘spider silk’. It was well timed to add to the conversation around Earth Day and this week’s Fashion Revolution Week, in which we take a good look at our consumption habits and how they affect the world around us. The main takeaway from Widmaier’s talk was the realisation that our current consumption levels are truly out of control. So this year’s Fashion Revolution Week seems to be more important than ever.
For Fashion Revolution Week, the focus is on how our clothes are made and who makes them. In particularly, it recognises the Rana Plaza disaster from 2013, when 1,138 people died during the collapse of a neglectful Bangladesh fashion factory. To put a positive spotlight on maker practices, it runs a global events programme around fashion, craftsmanship and upcycling that lets us take a closer look at how fashion is made. In many cases this is informative, fun and creative.
The open studios events get booked up fast as there aren’t many places but are so worth going to if you’re interested in the manufacturing process. Here are a few highlights (but there are absolutely loads here)…
Vivienne Westwood is running two interactive workshops for public and press at its flagship stores in London.
Sarabande, The Lee Alexander McQueen Foundation is hosting a series of talks and presentations including Fashion Open Studio curator Tamsin Blanchard discussing the merits of slow fashion with Sarabande designers John Alexander Skelton and Roberts|Wood.
Phoebe English (top) is hosting a radical quilt making workshop of waste fabric accompanied by activist artist and poet Wilson Oryema who will read from his recently published book, Wait. (This sounds amazing!)
Online resale marketplace Depop will host an exhibition of iconic items and their story throughout the years, alongside footwear artist Helen Kirkum’s workshop deconstructing and reconstructing old trainers.
Veja in Paris will host a series of DIY workshops in its atelier, and open its flagship store to collaborative projects with independent designers.
Eileen Fisher will open its U.S studio for a series of guided tours.
In New York and LA, Stella McCartney is celebrating her partnership with consignment etailer The RealReal with in-store events to promote the idea of a circular economy.
For more listings, head to the Fashion Revolution page here.
WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGE: Phoebe English
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