Fashion designer backs sustainability campaign

UCLAN graduate and Preston-based slow fashion designer, Eleanor Bradley, is backing a campaign to shop only second hand for 30 days after research revealed that the region is yet to commit to sustainable fashion.

Eleanor Bradley. founder of Wild Strings

The survey into people’s sustainable shopping habits, conducted on behalf of Bradley’s fashion brand, Wild Strings, discovered that one in ten consumers claim sustainability is not a factor they consider when buying new clothing, according to the findings.

In recent months, global chains such as H&M which are synonymous with fast fashion, have been held to account on their sustainability claims. Many slow fashion campaigners have highlighted that fast fashion can never be sustainable due to the sheer volume of clothing produced which is creating irreversible harm to the planet and outweighing any publicised environmental credentials.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the region’s shoppers admit confusion when it comes to making eco-conscious fashion choices. A quarter (25 per cent) claim that it is difficult to find out about clothing brands’ sustainability credentials and a further 60 per cent agree that it is something you have to specifically go out of your way to find – with information often hidden on a retailer’s website.

To encourage people to think more sustainably, Bradley, whose clothing line is made from second-hand and responsibly sourced materials, is backing Second Hand September, an initiative launched by Oxfam to cut back on throwaway fashion.

The campaign is asking shoppers to buy only second-hand during September, highlighting the impact that the fashion industry is having on the environment and how fast fashion is adding to landfill, with 13 million items being thrown away every week.

Bradley said: “Second Hand September is a great initiative and a great place to start for anyone looking to take a more sustainable approach to their wardrobe.

“Having worked in the fast fashion industry I have seen for myself the disruptive impact these brands are having on the environment and the frantic consumerism that they are creating. I created Wild Strings to offer people an alternative which has creativity and sustainability at it’s heart, resulting in a more positive impact on the environment. All of my designs are produced using second-hand materials and recycled fabrics. In complete contrast to the next day delivery culture we have come to expect, they are all also handmade to order meaning that each piece is crafted individually.

“Whilst there is still a long way to go to educate people that fashion can be done differently, it is great to see the emerging support for independent clothing brands showing that people are starting to make some positive change.”