Sustainable fashion is very fashionable – Fiona Alexander


Fiona Alexander

The detrimental effects on the environment of the fashion industry and fast fashion culture are widely recognized with more greenhouse gases than aviation and shipping combined, textiles truck going to landfill or burned every second, our oceans polluted with plastic microfibers from synthetic clothing and the human cost of poor working conditions.

Sustainability and eco-friendly fashion have never been more important.

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Greyfriars and Grace produces sewing patterns with an environmental focus on reusing existing clothing and textiles. This has the environmental benefit of helping to reduce excess textile manufacturing and landfilling and the practical benefit of avoiding having to do some of the more difficult elements of sewing such as buttonholes, collars. and cuffs.

Disposable fashion must stop

I launched Greyfriars and Grace in April 2021 and already three of my patterns have been shortlisted for this year’s British Sewing Awards – one for best sewing pattern and two in the best eco-friendly product category alongside giants such as Hobbycraft and Gutermann.

It’s a bit of a David and Goliath situation, but it’s wonderful to receive industry recognition for sustainability and eco-friendly design. In October, I started a series of presentations to high school fashion and textile students to discuss how the fashion industry can take positive steps to change and help raise the profile of recycling. fashion and textiles to the next generation of designers and retail buyers.

There are a lot of things you can do to make your wardrobe more durable, like buying and selling in the second-hand market, repairing, choosing greener brands, and renting clothes, especially for special occasions.

The online platform ThredUp estimates that the second-hand market is one of the fastest growing areas of retail and is expected to double to $ 77 billion by 2025.

I think it is possible to change purchasing habits. Ten years ago, hardly anyone brought a reusable bag to the supermarket. Now most people do.

Fortunately, hardly anyone these days would wear real fur for fashion. It used to be the symbol of opulence, glamor and wealth, but now it represents cruelty and inhumanity.

I think it’s possible that environmental priorities are influencing fashion choices and textile manufacturing in the same way animal rights have almost abolished the use of real fur in the fashion industry and animal testing in the cosmetics industry.

In April 2021, H&M announced its goal of using only recycled materials or other sustainable sources by 2030. Last year ASOS launched its first circular collection and Zara wants 80% of the energy consumed in its head office, factories and stores comes from renewable sources. and its facilities to produce zero waste to landfill by 2025.

I’m just a small piece of the puzzle, but I hope Greyfriars and Grace can help fight the adverse environmental effects of fast-paced fashion culture and, at the same time, create happiness and help people who love to sew. to create beautiful, individual and quality clothes made with love.

Fiona Alexander, Founder and Designer, Greyfriars and Grace



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