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Sustainable Fashion Week 2022

Sustainable Fashion Week is more than just a seven day event. The driving force behind SFW is community. By empowering people with skills and resources the team behind SFW are making sustainable fashion accessible and building a growing movement for change within the industry.

The only fashion week of its kind, activities span the UK with ambassadors in all areas. I’m proud to represent the West Midlands, this being the second year I’ve taken part in community activities in my hometown, Tamworth.

This year I was involved in three events. The first was a Mending Circle, an activity I’ve hosted for several months in the town centre.

The purpose is to encourage people to repair their own clothes. Unlike repair shops, mending circles are places where skills can be shared, know how passed on and support given to enable individuals to mend damaged clothing themselves. The Mending Circle is all inclusive, free to attend and doesn’t require attendees to supply anything other than their mending.

The aim is to equip everyone with what it takes to keep clothing in circulation.

My second event was another nationwide initiative #StitchItDontDitchIt a celebration of street stitching organised by craftivist artist Suzi Warren founder of Twisted Twee.

The idea is to take a chair onto which a banner may be added with the #SIDDI slogan and of course some clothing repairs. I took my chair to the centre of Tamworth on market day. I had hoped for some local support although covid had struck one mender, Spain called another two away and work commitments meant that on the day, only one other stitcher joined me (my good friend Thomas came to darn his socks). Despite the poor turn out we were joined by ITV Central who filmed an excellent piece for the evening news. Thanks to local business and market trader, Sarah Gayton who filmed my plea for street stitchers, it was her tweet that was picked up by ITV.

The third event I participated in was an online panel discussing greenwashing in the fashion industry. This was put together and hosted by Hande Ustundag Kavasoglu, Director of Be True Sustainability Communications. Hande put some excellent questions to the wide ranging group on the panel. For my part answering them required a thought process that helped me clarify my own opinions and understand better those of the wider public surrounding sustainable fashion.

Thanks to Sustainable Fashion Week I was motivated into contacting local radio to promote forthcoming events which led to a great interview with Rob Bowker, Radio Tamworth. Later that week I was also asked to chat about mending clothes on BBC Radio Stoke and my street stitching TV appearance made it into the Tamworth Herald newspaper.

I’m now finding the time to catch up on SFW events that took place in other parts of the country and you can too by visiting the Sustainable Fashion Week website. My Central News appearance can be viewed via this tweet by reporter Lucy Kapasi and the Radio Tamworth interview can be found here.

Plans are already being made for the next Mending Circle which will take place in October – date to be confirmed as well as some more street stitching. Watch this space!


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