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Forster’s Fashion Revolution: Swish Swish

By Phoebe Calcutt

29 April 2019
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While Greta Thunberg and Extinction Rebellion have been leading the growing global protest against climate breakdown, behind the front-page news another insurgent week has been bubbling away. It’s a revolution: a fashion revolution.

Forster has long supported the need to rethink how we buy clothes and reduce the impact it has on the environment.

We got the chance to do exactly that when we helped turn our client’s ambitions to change the industry into action by diverting 35,00kg of clothing from landfill through our work with reGAIN – an innovative new app to help change behaviours around textile recycling with ‘fast fashion’ lovers. We’ve also extended the life of wearable clothes through our project with Love Your Clothes and Resource London, teaching Londoners sewing skills to fix their clothes and prevent unwanted items going to landfill. In a recent episode of edie’s Responsible Business podcast our client Kate Holbrook founder of Turtle Doves, which uses recycled cashmere to make luxury products and spoke about how to make the fashion sector a more planet-friendly and ethical industry.

We are now building up to London Circular Economy Week in June with Circular London and LWARB, with a week of events, activities and workshops to showcase and celebrate circularity in the capital.

We want to see fashion circularity – a new term referring to the recycled life of a garment – to beat its projected growth from £19b to £40bn in five years.  As part of Fashion Revolution Week, Forster hosted the first swishing event in our 35 business co-working building. We encouraged everyone to bring unwanted items of clothing that they would be happy to part with, swap them for new pre-loved items and meet their neighbours, all in the name of circular economy and “slow” fashion.

While we didn’t have any second-hand Jean-Paul Gautier a la Kim Kardashian, we did discuss the fashion industry’s impact which weighs in at 20% of global wastewater and 10% of global carbon emissions. We explored that while consumer attitudes have to adapt, the change needs to be led by brands and businesses with effective and creative communication to positively shift behaviour.

Co-working buildings like ours have expanded significantly in the last five years and with this comes a whole new set of opportunities for businesses to innovate around sustainability. Collaborative in nature, they foster the opportunity for businesses to share resources as well as ideas – working as a community to drive change.

We spoke about how this works at the ICRS conference earlier in the month; cutting through departmental differences, removing siloes and uniting people who hold similar views and interests around a shared ambition.  The opportunities are endless and we are showing what’s possible by walking-the-talk at The Loom as well as in partnership with our clients.

If you want to get involved with Circular Economy Week or would like more details on running a clothing “swish”, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with