When Cathy Owen, Project Manager of Scotland Re:Designed, revealed the winner of Best Fashion Twitterati as ‘Scot Street Style’, it felt like a dream. It’s been a great year for Scotland, and this recognition of our collective creative voice at the inaugural #HeraldFashion awards, was totally inspiring. This honour accelerated my passionate resolve to strive unremittingly, to ensure our cities are mentioned in the same breath as London, New York, Berlin, Tokyo, Paris and Milan.
I had only just got my breath back, when the charming Lynn Wilson, Head of Textiles at Zero Waste Scotland, approached with a mysterious white envelope. I was intrigued, but respectfully refocused on the proceedings at hand.
Reflecting on the extraordinary evening on the train home, I slowly opened the envelope, and my eyes were immediately drawn to the word ‘Assignment’, as I discovered that my journey would continue to one of the aforementioned fashion capitals of the world!
“I’m delighted that Gordon is taking up our assignment to attend the Love Your Clothes London event for fashion bloggers. The Love Your Clothes campaign is all about encouraging as many people as possible to value their clothes and keep them in use for as long as possible by looking after them, making repairs and even upcycling to give them a new lease of life. Having the Herald Fashion Awards Twitterati of the Year winner heading down to the Fashion Salvage event and reporting back is a fantastic way to spread the word as widely as possible here in Scotland about the exciting opportunities that exist in using reclaimed and recycled textiles in fashion and clothing design. Any designers that are inspired by his experiences should apply to our new Circular Economy Textile and Apparel Fund, which gives Scottish textile designers the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to £5000 to create innovative closed loop clothing designs, which use approaches such as zero waste pattern design, design for disassembly or use reclaimed or recycled materials to create a truly circular economy product.”
In a previous pre-bearded social media incarnation, I led an environmental movement for positive change from the heart of Scotland: http://www.theguardian.com/edinburgh/2011/feb/02/edinburgh-plastic-bag-ban-canvas-council
And so, this opportunity to unite our common love of clothes, and a zero waste society, through the Love Your Clothes (www.loveyourclothes.org.uk) campaign assignment is a dream come true.
It is important that people in design and fashion get involved, because new research from WRAP has found that:
- the annual footprints of a household’s new and existing clothing are equivalent to the weight of over 100 pairs of jeans, the water needed to fill over 1,000 bathtubs, and the carbon emissions from driving an average modern car for 6,000 miles;
- the average UK household owns around £4,000 worth of clothes – but around 30% of clothing in the average wardrobe has not been worn for at least a year, most commonly because it no longer fits;
- extending the average life of clothes by just three months of active use per item would lead to a 5-10% reduction in each of the carbon, water and waste footprints;
- two-thirds of UK consumers buy or receive pre-owned (or second-hand) clothes, and there is a willingness to wear more, especially if a better range were available; and
- an estimated £140 million worth (350,000 tonnes) of used clothing goes to landfill in the UK every year. (Valuing Our Clothes Report, WRAP)
Follow my adventures this Thursday on Twitter, with the #fashionsalvage hash tag, and look out for my post-event report.
Gordon J Millar
Scot Street Style Ltd.