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Talking Fashion Ethics at Jacket Required: Sustainability is Not A Trend


Jacket Required, the urban fashion trade show held at East London’s Old Truman Brewery, took place earlier this month (23 & 24 January) and visitor numbers were up with over 1,800 visitors in attendance.

Alongside the carefully edited line-up of contemporary menswear, womenswear, footwear, accessories and lifestyle brands over two floors, the event also hosted the popular ‘In Talks With’ seminar programme. With ethics and sustainability in fashion plastered all over press and social media of late it was interesting to hear poignant opinions from designer Christopher Raeburn, Han Ates from Blackhorse Lane Ateliers and Stacey Wood from King & Tuckfield. With the headline topic ‘Crafted to Last’ chaired by Caryn Franklin MBE, the talk put the focus on the movement towards ‘slow fashion’ and the creation of crafted to last garments, something they all agreed should be the norm in fashion, not the exception.

“Contrary to what some people think, sustainability is not a trend.”

Christopher Raeburn said: “Everything we are wearing has a value to it. Whenever you can, experience the value of the garment you are wearing and how it was made. We’re in quite a mad moment. Essentially, as an industry, we’ve reached this full capacity where people can get what they want – often at a discount. Then all of the brands are fighting each other for attention and it’s ultimately just a race to the bottom. What makes sense to us as a business is building purpose and soul to create longevity and emotional attachment. So, we’re really looking at how we can actively push in the right way and disrupt to really make a difference. We all need to consider what we are doing and what we are consuming. Contrary to what some people think, sustainability is not a trend. We need to sizeably change what’s happening in our industry.”

Building on the idea of emotional connectivity and a consumer’s relationship with a garment, Han added: “In our building we have chefs baking bread, weavers making fabrics and art restorers. Through that we have created a constant flow of local people and Londoners coming through our door. Connectivity starts, and it builds community. When you are connected to a community, then accountability starts. As companies, if we are accountable to the community that we live in, then sustainability automatically parallels with that.” 

Stacey said of her business ethics; “We make well, make slowly and make products that last so you can create your own story. We want to make clothes that last the test of time, as that can make a real difference. If everyone wears a garment for an extra nine months, it reduces the impact on the environment by 20-30%. Sustainability is a buzzword but if everyone does their little bit it makes a massive impact on what’s happening.” 

The next edition of Jacket Required takes place at the Old Truman Brewery, 24th & 25th July 2019.

Images courtesy of Jacket Required

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