“Fashion is very important. It is life-enhansing and, like everything that gives pleasure, it is worth doing well” – Vivienne Westwood
Ethics + Aesthetics = Sustainable Fashion
I found my passion for the environment and fashion through the development of my dissertation and during a 12-month industry placement as an Assistant Product Developer for Associated Independent Stores. Being part of clothing production first-hand, as well as experiencing the supply chain down to Independent retailers really highlighted a need for sustainable actions in the fashion industry now. This led onto my dissertation study: The future of sustainable fashion. This was an investigation into how the fashion sector will use certain key drivers to develop into an environmentally sustainable industry, looking at independent brands and retailers’ impact, whilst following the millennial consumer.
The dissertation found the most vital recommendations for the future of fashion involved four key steps from initial design concept, through to manufacturing, in-store actions and consumer aftercare. The recommendations are; introducing a closed loop system; certification of sustainable businesses; further environmental research; and brand transparency.
My development through third year then lead me to creating my Final Major Project: Mardy Magazine. Mardy is a bi-monthly publication supporting local Birmingham communities, independent businesses and people through sustainability, style and creativity. The aim is to help readers make small, effortless actions on a local scale, to help towards a more sustainable future and better environmental consumer impact. Through the use of local collaboration, working closely with inspirational business, creatives and people in the Birmingham area, Mardy magazine is able to provide colourful, creative and stylish content as well as being ethical and sustainable. The magazine runs bi-monthly through a high-quality print publication, as well as through their online blog, supplying even more regular content and creativity. Social media, special projects, local events and Eco-friendly merchandise accompany the magazine providing further experience, interaction and content to the readers.
The course, Fashion, Business and Promotion, has given me widely transferable skills which can be applied across a number of sectors and industries. It has allowed me to bring my passions to light through my studies, applying my own personal outline and goals to each individual project. My goal is to make a real difference in industry, pursuing a sustainable and ethical practice in all of my work.