On Wednesday 16th March, designers, fashionistas, independent brands, and activists will gather together in Edinburgh to celebrate Sustainable Fashion Scotland’s second birthday. This event is all about reducing the impact of fashion on the environment and communities. And yes, there will be birthday cake!
Why is the Fight Against Fast Fashion Important?
Fast fashion is quickly becoming one of the most harmful industries that we have inflicted on the planet. Each year, the industry accounts for 1.2 billion tonnes of CO2 production. This amounts to a bigger carbon footprint than all international flights and shipping combined. A lot of this damage can be put down to throw-away culture.
We’ve moved on from the days of mending and caring for clothes that have been crafted to last a lifetime. Instead, we’re often drawn in by fast fashion bargains that just aren’t built to last. Since 2000, the production of clothing has doubled, while the average number of times a garment is worn before it is thrown out has plummeted.
Sustainable Fashion Scotland has set out to change this.
The situation sounds dire, but the uprising of sustainable fashion items, brands, and networks is here to instil a bit of hope. Amongst such organisations is Sustainable Fashion Scotland (SFS), who are proud to be celebrating two years of activism by hosting their second in-person sustainable fashion event in Edinburgh tomorrow.
SFS is a community-led non-profit organisation that is on a mission to change the way we think about fashion here in Scotland. They want to see a sustainable transformation in the way we shop. Since the launch of SFS in February 2020, the team has been laying the foundations to make a real change.
One major goal of SFS is to connect like-minded people within the fashion community so that they can collaborate and help introduce sustainable solutions. This is what their next networking event is all about.
Taking place at the Pleasance Cabaret Bar, the event aims to bring together designers, fashion enthusiasts, and independent businesses to create new connections and encourage collective action.
As well as this, the event will mark the launch of the second issue of SFS Community Magazine. Compiled by the volunteers, the magazine will contain inspiring stories about the impact of sustainable fashion.
Guests at the SFS networking event can also look forward to informative panels, short film screenings, a clothes swap, a mending circle, and stands from creatives in the SFS community.
Is sustainable fashion working?
Organisations like SFS are passionate about changing our attitudes towards fashion, but is sustainable fashion the answer we’re looking for? Well, trends are pointing towards sustainable shopping becoming more and more popular, and it looks like this could seriously help to reduce the damage the fashion industry does to the environment.
According to statistics from McKinsey, a change in consumer behaviour could result in reducing 21% of the emissions created by the fashion industry. Happily, it looks like we’re already seeing those changes in consumer behaviour in action. In 2020, one-fifth of UK consumers bought an item from a sustainable fashion brand and 67% of consumers now consider sustainable materials when purchasing a new item.
In short, it really does look like a big change is upon us. Thanks to organisations like SFS, consumers are becoming more aware of the damage done by fast fashion. They are beginning to see the endless benefits of shopping sustainably. By supporting the sustainability and growth of progressive independent fashion businesses across Scotland, SFS is doing its part to create a brighter future for the industry and for the planet.
As well as engaging with community events like the one held by SFS tomorrow, there are lots of ways that you can make a difference as an individual too.
One piece of advice offered by Mairi Lowe, co-director of SFS, is to “consider yourself a citizen rather than just a consumer.” She continues:
“Clothing is not just about buying – it’s about identity, relationships, our personal values, wellbeing, and so much more. Consider how your personal values as a citizen could be applied to your relationship and actions with clothing, beyond buying.”
As well as challenging your attitude towards clothes, the team at SFS also want to encourage people to question the brands they shop at, love the items currently in their wardrobes, choose to mend clothes rather than throw them away when possible, and choose to support local, sustainable businesses rather than big brands.
Reversing the damage done by fast fashion is certainly an uphill battle, but SFS is facing it head-on, and by making some small changes, so can you.