Yesterday evening BODO took a trip to Hammersmith’s stunning St Pauls church to celebrate the best of sustainable British brands and network with some like-minded people. Hosted by The ethical Fashion Collective (a small group of London College of Fashion Students), this was their second annual charity event raising money for Rehema – a not-for-profit project based in Tanzania that works with women and orphans living in extremely difficult situations. Rehema helps these women to lead better lives through introducing opportunities to better themselves through textile manufacturing.
I was amazed that last year’s event’s proceeds helped to build the Bulls School and gave one woman the opportunity to build her own home, as well as help fund two new water wells. This year funds raised will go towards providing new materials in order to employ more women within the scheme.
The turn out was impressive, and as I walked around I noticed people of all ages milling around the fashion, beauty and accessories stalls, networking and enjoying the free refreshments. Passing by each stand I noticed the raffle ticket girls, so I made a donation and am still waiting to hear that I’ve won that Lush Cosmetics Gift Box – fingers crossed!
Before the show a panel discussion took place. Among the speakers were Safia Minney of People Tree, Journalist and TV presenter Lucy Siegle, founder of Pants to Poverty, Ben Ramsden, and Tamsin Lejeune, Manager of Ethical Fashion Forum. A short film was played, highlighting the issues within the Bangladeshi garment industry, and reminding us all of the importance of why we were there, which led to an open discussion on how ethical fashion is progressing yet it is ultimately up to the retailers to take responsibility when it comes to creating a transparent supply chain.
A label I hadn’t previously heard of was Manchester born graphic print mens t-shirt company Run and Fell. I spoke to the founder, who established the label 3 years ago, and says that her designs are currently stocked at Brothers We Stand. Women’s labels far outweigh mens in the ethical fashion world, so it was great to see a few names that focused specifically on sustainable menswear.
Menswear Boutique Brothers we Stand made placards for the runway, with slogans such as “Who made your shirt?”, while t-shirts with the words “Well Made” were showcased at Mantis World, designed especially for the show. At the end we all had a chance to browse and ask questions and I came back (and I’m sure I speak for many others), uplifted and anticipating the future for sustainable fashion. BODO will definitely be returning next year –hopefully providing footwear for the spring/summer 15 catwalk. Watch this space!