Sustainable Fashion Week is coming in September, and your organisation could be a part of this Bristol-based, national initiative that celebrates recycling, reusing and sharing clothes. Whether your organisation has a charity shop, an eBay store, a craft club, or appeals for clothing donations to help service users, you can get involved in the week-long celebrations from 11-19 September 2021.
The focus of Sustainable Fashion Week is community-led activity that helps people form new habits around clothing - not necessarily following trends, moving away from 'fast fashion', and learning new skills to make clothing last longer. Changes Bristol (mental health charity and Voscur member) is one of the partner organisations working to make Sustainable Fashion Week happen.
There will be a central hub in Bristol where the main expert-led workshops and talks will take place, along with a market full of independent makers and traders, but organisers would also love to see events popping up in and around the city (and throughout the UK) during the week.
This is a great opportunity for charities and community groups to arrange an activity and inspire local people to take action. For example:
- Charity shops can shout about the hidden treasures behind their doors, with bold window displays, social media posts, and a 'garment of the week'. We are lucky to have some fantastic charity shops in the city, particularly in Gloucester Road (North Bristol) and North Street (South Bristol); beyond Bristol, there's Nailsea, Portishead, Clevedon and many more.
- Youth groups or schools could do a skills exchange with organisations that support older people, to show each other ways to repair and style clothes or accessories. This could be in person or online.
- Bristol is home to many great repair cafes (though they have been unable to run during lockdown). Could you team up with your local repair cafe, or maybe contact your local Men's Shed to see if anyone can offer clothing repairs and alterations at a community event?
- If you collect second-hand clothing for your service users, show everyone the difference these items make (you can keep donors and recipients anonymous if they would prefer). A coat or a pair of shoes might seem like a small gesture, but it can help someone rebuild their life. Tell these stories to the public and inspire them to raid their wardrobe for unwanted items.
- Team up with local sustainable fashion designers - would they consider donating 10% of their profits for the week to your cause? Could you make them an ambassador?
- Clothing swaps were becoming more popular before the pandemic, and we're sure they will start up again when lockdown lifts in June. The idea is that you meet friends or colleagues and everyone brings some items they no longer need, then swaps it for something else. No money changes hands, but you can all donate to a cause before or afterwards.
We hope you'll take this opportunity to join in with Sustainable Fashion Week and plan an activity in your community. When you've thought out your proposed activity, get in touch with the team at Sustainable Fashion Week to discuss it further and make it happen.