Fashion Revolution Week 2020 has just passed and we are feeling super enthused to continue the fight against the fast fashion industry. This year felt even more inspiring as those involved had to quickly decide to move all planned events online. It felt incredibly daunting, but all in all, it was a huge success. So congratulations to everyone that took part! The week flew by, but in isolation, it was tough to keep track of what day of the week it was. We spent a lot of time on Zoom and Instagram but in the best possible way, by engaging, learning and sharing ideas. We felt incredibly motivated at the end of the week. So we thought we would share a wee roundup of what we got up to, and point you in the direction of some great content to look back on.
Facing Fast-Fashion Panel: Fashion Revolution Scotland
Kicking off our involvement in Fashion Revolution Week we were part of a Zoom panel discussion hosted by Martha from Shrub Coop alongside some amazing panellists, Nikki Tayler our FRS Co-ordinator, Vivienne Lowe our FRS Co co-ordinator, Kiaz Trepte from Remode Collective and Lynn Wilson, circular economy specialist. We got together to discuss our relationship with fast fashion, and how, as a sustainable small brand we can make a difference.
The panel looked at how the fashion industry consumes more energy than the aviation and shipping industry combined and with our environment already in turmoil, this is an issue that needs addressing so we can work towards creating real change. We discussed fabric and fibres, talking about new sustainable fabrics and how 'sustainable' they actually are. We spoke about the future of new fashion graduates and how they can make an impact. At ReJean we believe that there is already so much good quality fabric in existence and we are trying to show that you can create a high-end product with materials already in circulation. Another issue we discussed was the importance of sharing knowledge to new graduates and across different cultures. Knowledge truly is power and we need to be sharing techniques that value the cloth we are working with and cutting in a way that eliminates textiles waste within our production practices. A big issue for me is textile waste as part of the production process. Zero-waste pattern cutting is such an important skill and needs to be centre stage in fashion production practices. I really look towards a system where textiles can be recycled the same as paper/plastic and glass.
As well as the environmental impact this industry plays within our society, it also is one of the largest industries to completely disregard human rights. If you would like to read more on this, then fellow FRS volunteer Marybeth Graham has posted a 4 part blog series, 'A revolution from my bedroom' on Ruth Macgilps Blog. I highly recommend reading the series, it's very informative and will inspire and motivate you I promise.
Fast fashion is the basis of most fashion trends and styles, however, compromising our environment and the rights of workers should not be a side-effect of buying a nice outfit. Slowing the industry down and utilising sustainable materials could create amazing results en masse, it's all about our involvement as a consumer. Utilising workers' rights, fighting against large corporations that do not respect their people, calling these brands out and supporting your local businesses are just some of the ways we, as shoppers can form a community within the industry and build a closer relationship with unique brands, styles and other shoppers. We have so much power by voting with our wallet and simply asking brands, 'who made my clothes?' Showing up on social media and asking brands difficult questions does work, they do see it and they will feel uncomfortable. The more we put pressure on fast fashion brands the more likely they will be to address the issue.
I listened to the Yikes Podcast episode with Aja Barber over the weekend, which talked about this in great detail. I highly recommend listening if you want to hear from some real change-makers have some very insightful conversations.
ReJean Denim X Print Clan: Mend & Patch with Fashion Open Studio
We were lucky enough to be asked to participate in Fashion Open Studio, a Fashion Revolution initiative that focuses on young designers and under normal circumstances, has them open their doors for a look behind the scenes.
This year, of course, the whole initiative went online. This was again a very challenging task, but it allowed people from all over the world to participate in events that they normally wouldn't have been able to.
For our event, we originally planned a weekend of workshops with the lovely Arienne Mele founder of Print Clan CIC at there gorgeous Print Studio in Glasgow. Due to the current climate, we moved the whole thing online and we hosted a successful mending class on Zoom, followed on by a drawing for a print workshop with Arianna.
I had prepared a few mending videos for the Zoom to inspire and motivate our attendees. These can now all be found on our IGTV channel. We chatted about the art of mending and different techniques that we can use. We shared tips and advice and chatted about our favourite pieces that we were trying to breathe a new lease of life into with a simple needle and thread. It was a wonderful wholesome morning and we were lucky enough to even have FOS founder Tamsin Blanchard join us.
We absolutely loved hosting the event and hope to do more workshops on zoom. Hopefully, we will be running them in person again soon when its safe to do so.
Mending is a part of our production process at ReJean. working with reclaimed materials often means we need to reinforce areas of the fabrics we are using, and we always try to make a feature of it.
Fashion Revolution Week is so important and we are so grateful to be able to take part this year. It allows us to connect, learn and collaborate with other like-minded individuals and work together to advocate for real change.
Please, please go check out the Fashion Revolution website, for of amazing resources, blog posts, zines and downloads. Also head to the YouTube channel to watch back some amazing FOS events.
Take care out their folks, and feel free to get in touch about anything we have mentioned in the blog.
Email us: Studio@rejeandenim.com
We are always so keen to hear from you.
Siobhan & Marie!