Article by Georgia Amis
On 30th September 2023, Preston City Council hosted a local event that combined the worlds of fashion, sustainability, and education. The event collaborated with local organisations to offer an array of activities and insights to inspire attendees to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle.
The day kicked off with an original performance by Tenderfoot Theatre, an innovative eco-theatre company known for its thought-provoking productions that explore environmental themes. Their captivating performance of ‘Heirloom’ shed a light on the harmful effects of fast fashion and overconsumption whilst emphasising how memories are kept within each item of clothing. Their performance called on the audience to be more thoughtful when shopping for fashion.
Following the performance, a Q&A session was held with talented local student designer Ashwati Krishna, who also showcased her original pieces. Her creations were not only aesthetically pleasing but also served as a testament to the potential of sustainability in fashion design. Her dedication to eco-friendly design principles resonated with the audience, sparking discussions on how fashion can be produced more sustainably without sacrificing style and creativity.
The highlight of the event was the sustainable fashion show. Ten diverse looks ranging from office attire to streetwear, were showcased on the runway by volunteer models. Outfits were curated from second-hand clothing and accessories, donated by PCC colleagues, friends, and family. They were then styled by Jordan Brown, a fashion design student studying at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston. The runway served as a testament to the allure of pre-loved fashion, promoting affordability, originality, and the quality of items you can find. Following the show, all donated items were given to the Salvation Army for reuse and recycling.
Throughout the day, stalls offered educative and interactive experiences. Tenderfoot Theatre hosted a booth where they discussed the process of sustainable costuming and demonstrated the enchanting process of natural dyeing using humble cabbage, baking powder and lemon juice.
Climate Action Preston, from the Climate Emergency Centre, were on hand at their stall to impart wisdom on clothing repair through sewing, extending the life of garments and preventing them from ending up in landfills. The public could also learn more about climate projects and environmental issues relevant in their local community.
Lancashire County Council’s “Reuse 360” stall promoted their reuse shops, showing the public that these shops house a variety of different items at affordable prices, encouraging attendees to explore the benefits of giving items a second life. Preston City Council’s stall educated visitors on sustainable fashion and waste, engaging them in a match-the-stats game to enter a raffle for a chance to win a hamper full of snacks and DIY goodies.
This event engaged passers-by, with an estimated 150-200 members of the public involved in the event through watching the performances and/or taking part in discussions at the stalls. The day celebrated sustainable fashion and showcased the collaborative efforts of organisations and individuals working towards a more environmentally friendly future, leaving attendees inspired and motivated to make more conscious choices in their fashion and lifestyle.