MA Fashion Womenswear Student Launches Fashion Boycott
Greenhouse gas emissions in the UK will be cut to almost zero by 2050, under the terms of a new Government plan to tackle climate change. RCA Fashion students are looking ahead to how new systems in fashion can support this over the next 30 years.
This announcement comes a few days after MA Fashion Womenswear student Laura Krarup Frandsen hosted a ‘fashion die in’ with around 20 Extinction Rebellion activists at All At Once, the RCA's MA Fashion Show.
The protest targeted waste within the global fashion industry and marked the launch of Extinction Rebellion’s #BoycottFashion – a campaign urging supporters to disrupt the fashion industry by refusing to buy new clothing or materials for a year.
Laura’s message about the future of fashion and its impact on climate change is clear: ‘We need creativity to solve this mess, but we cannot keep using scarce resources to produce clothes. Fashion is not to die for.’
This is based on Laura’s belief that for fashion to have a future, the whole system needs to change. She says, ‘we need to completely rethink the way we perceive, produce and use fashion. There is already an abundance of clothes in existence, we need to put that to use – we need to demand being humans over consumers.’
Anyone interested in taking part in the fashion boycott can sign the pledge online. The campaign helps guide people to find new, creative ways of engaging with their existing clothes by sharing, repairing, loving and swapping.
Other RCA Fashion students are looking to disrupt the industry in different ways:
- Yu-mei Huang (MA Fashion Womenswear) uses sustainable materials and works on fully fashioned knitting, which shapes the fabric to create a pattern with zero waste.
- Anna Goschin (MA Fashion Womenswear) is researching how a more digital design approach could create smart systems that would directly impact the fashion industry.
- She has always revolted against creating toiles – test garments made of cheaper material – as she finds there is so much waste that goes into the process. She says ‘mass production and fast fashion is creating an exhausting environment for everyone involved. I think fashion as an industry needs to be more conscious of its effect on society, from consumers, to designers, to labourers and the environment. We should be able to savour more and produce less’.
- Joanna Berling (MA Fashion Womenswear) believes that sustainability is not a choice but a necessity. She works with waste fabrics donated by bridal shops and fashion brands, as well as end-of-roll materials. She uses graphic cuts to create minimal waste.
- As a stitch straw specialist, Lucy Barlow (MA Fashion Menswear) is hoping to regenerate the stitch straw industry, as it uses a naturally biodegradable product with huge creative and sustainable market potential, not just for the UK but for global indigenous communities nearer the material source.