Up and coming eco-designers will be sending their latest looks down the catwalk at the Recycling and Waste Management Exhibition (14 to 16 September, NEC, Birmingham) this year. Sponsored by BCR Global Textiles, Chris Carey’s Collections, I&G Cohen Limited and Salvation Army Trading Company Limited (SATCoL), the first ever RWM fashion shows will showcase the exciting design possibilities presented by the fastest growing element in the UK’s waste stream.
Fast fashion comes at a price to the environment. According to the
Department for the Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra)*, the UK buys
over two million tonnes of clothes each year (worth a staggering £34
billion) but nearly half of this ends up in landfill where it slowly
biodegrades producing methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more powerful than
carbon dioxide. Just 24 per cent is currently recycled.
However the recycled materials market is thriving thanks to companies and
organisations which collect textiles on behalf of local authorities, waste
management companies and charities, saving thousands of tonnes of clothes,
shoes and household textiles from landfill, while raising money for charity
and setting new trends in eco-friendly fashion.
SATCoL is the UK’s largest textile recycler. Of the 3,000 tonnes of unwanted
clothing donated to SATCoL every month, only five tonnes go to landfill and
96 per cent are reused or recycled. Paul Ozanne, SATCoL’s national recycling
coordinator, said: "With thousands of visitors each year, RWM is a fantastic
opportunity to meet prospective partners that can work with us to divert as
much clothing as possible away from landfill. We currently have around 4,200
clothing banks throughout the UK and our target is 5,000. Attending big
events such as RWM is a very important step in helping us to achieve this."
The young designers whose work will be showcased at RWM include Emmeline
Childs for SATCoL and Tanique Coburn for Chris Carey’s Collections.
Christine Carey, managing director of Chris Carey’s Collections said:
"Tanique has already established a reputation amongst the London set, and
her trendy market stall at Portobello attracts fashionistas from far and
wide. She is a great example of the talent that is out there now, and
illustrates an exciting fusion of talent, vision and sustainability."
Collections designed by Nicola Sault, managing director, Grandma Takes A
Trip who works with BCR Global Textiles will also feature on the RWM
Catwalk. Nicola says: "Not only will the catwalk show celebrate just how
attractive fashion made from recyclable materials can be, but also all the
hard work, preparation and skill involved in turning previously unwanted
garments into something desirable again."
I&G Cohen will be showing designs from Tracey Cliffe whose Love Me Again
collection includes bodycon dresses made from old T-shirts and swimsuits.
Phil Geller, financial director of I&G Cohen said: "I&G Cohen Limited are
very proud to participate in a fashion show with a local designer creating
new and exciting styles from used and reconstructed clothing. It is a
different, fun and exciting way to promote textile recycling. We feel
honoured to be a part of this creative world, as designers who work with
recycled clothing play a vital role in creating ethical, environmentally
friendly designs whilst contributing to the economy. The market for fast
fashion remains strong; however, in these difficult economic times the case
to reduce and reuse our limited resources is stronger than ever… Textiles
have for far too long been the poor relation of recyclable materials."