Some of our supporters may have been puzzled as to why CCF was inviting stylists to Cambridge to run workshops on ‘Finding your Style’, or even ‘Bodyshape and Colour Analysis’. The answer goes to the heart of what we try to do and that’s to demonstrate positive, inspiring and practical alternatives and ways of living that will attract people to lower carbon living. The Sustainable Fashion Festival was very much a ‘carrot’ rather than ‘stick’ event.
So, the styling workshops supported people in choosing a smaller wardrobe, but one that would suit them really well and be filled with pieces they’d love and that could be mixed and matched. The Clothes Swap Party was not only a cost and waste free way for people to get new clothes, but also a chance to have a laugh and connect with people they’d never met before (something that probably doesn’t happen too much in Primark or when ordering online). The sewing themed Repair Cafe and Skillshare was a heartwarming and empowering experience. How often do you walk into a room filled with people primed and keen to help strangers fix their broken things, that will patiently pass on their skills so that you may be more self-sufficient and empowered to have a go next time? Over the day, 850 people dipped their toe into living well with less stuff, and it was really a very nice place.
The pop-up market was populated with incredible solutions focused creatives showcasing what hopefully will be the next generation of clothes: Petit Pli’s ‘clothes that grow’, Nitara’s gym wear spun from thread derived from plastic bottles and bags made from discarded seat-belts and tyres. The Nu Wardrobe were taking sign-ups to Cambridge’s first clothes sharing scheme and a local student trawled Cambridge’s charity shops to curate the best finds into one stylish pre-loved stall that raised £400 for good causes.
Though the day was full of fun, the messages about fast fashion’s contribution to the climate crisis, pollution and worker exploitation got through. Here’s a compilation of some of the pre-event coverage. BBC News published this newspiece and post event, the Cambridge Independent carried a full page with some fabulous images. That’s TV and Cambridge 105 covered the day too.
The day was inspired by designer Vivienne Westwood’s mantra of ‘Buy Less, Choose Well, Make it Last’ and we think that we, together with our fifty brilliant volunteers, brought this to life for a single day in November. Thank you to our partners Transition Cambridge, AmaElla, Maomoq, Kettle’s Yard and the Ladybird’s WI for a great start to championing sustainable fashion in our City.