Last night I was a guest presenter at the Sustainable Fashion Collective’s members’ night!
Needless to say, given the circumstances, the room wasn’t exactly crowded, but thankfully the organisers had arranged for the talk to be live-streamed as well.
Sustainable Fashion Collective, alongside their sister company the Offset Warehouse, aims to support small textile businesses in becoming more sustainable. Last night they wanted to focus on children’s clothes so I was honoured when Stephanie got in touch to see if I was free to join them for the evening.
I got to ramble on a bit about the importance of children's clothes being gender-neutral (FYI which also makes them more sustainable as it’s easier to pass them onto another child!), and also why we only use organic cotton and manufacture in the Britain. All are important aspects in trying to be a sustainable brand.
But, the best thing for me was I got to meet people from two other fabulous little companies!
I met Charlotte from The Little Loop, which is the UK’s first rental company for children’s clothes and, by a happy coincidence, based locally to me. Their service model is subscription only, where you buy credits which allow you to choose from available clothes. They’re launching in a couple of weeks so keep an eye out for more information.
The other was Georgie from Little Hands Design, a charity based in North London which teaches children how to make their own clothes. A great idea that gives people skills, both to make, repair and alter clothes, allowing them to make their wardrobe last longer. But it also teaches children the concept of value in clothing, a topic that came up throughout the evening. Georgie says they’ve had kids commenting on how some shops can sell a t-shirt for £2, when it’s taken them hours to make one! Well, quite.
Although, as businesses, we have approached the topic of sustainability in children’s fashion in different ways, we all have common ground on the important topics – namely quality clothes that last longer are more sustainable then disposable, cheap items that get thrown away. And people understanding the value in well-made clothes and looking for alternative consumer models including buying a mix of pre-loved with quality new, renting, repairing and re-purposing, are all important aspects in creating a more sustainable fashion industry.