Hi everyone! Bridget here. I've been very fortunate to connect with so many making a positive impact in the fashion industry in the past two weeks.
First I attended 'the Global Fashion Summit' by Global Fashion Agenda which covered the theme 'Alliances for a new era' where we heard from industry experts and thought leaders in the area of sustainable and ethical fashion. A wonderful opportunity for business leaders, academics, activists, policymakers and more to come together. As my own research examined the human rights impacts of fast fashion (available to read on my website) it was encouraging to hear such a focus on the people and communities impacted by fashion. I took so much from the experience, but some of my takeaways were:
- We can't keep shifting the blame. Everyone can and has a responsibility to act.
- The need for meaningful inclusion of manufacturers and garment workers in these forums and discussions on problems and solutions
- One company or country cannot do it alone, we need a unified approach. Global action - Global standards.
- The disastrous impact that “charitable” clothing being dumped in the global south is having on the local environment and people - and the colonial mindset that brought this about
- The trickle-down effect of buying practices
- Self-regulation hasn’t worked, aligned regulation that goes beyond transparency is needed, and it's coming.
Yesterday was the first day of the 'Circular by design' programme by Design & Crafts Council Ireland and National College of Art & Design. The pilot programme which brings together 12 Irish designers and manufacturers to make the transition to circular practices in every step of their design practice, value chain and business model. At Mise Tusa we are proud to embed circular practices in our business and look forward to developing on this and collaborating with other value-driven Irish makers.
So often when we talk about the human and environmental impact of fashion, the problem can feel so enormous. Indeed, the issues seen in the fashion industry reflect much deeper issues such as inequality, power, greed, and apathy. But to connect with so many who deeply care and are working to make a difference is very inspiring.