This week marks two seemingly unconnected events - Recycle Week and the start of London Fashion Week. Look a little deeper, beyond the hype and the gloss and a startling connection soon becomes obvious.
The UK throws an estimated £100 million worth or 350,000 tonnes of used clothing into landfill every year. That is an awful lot of waste and it is a symptom of the fast fashion phenomenon that we are now all a part of. Clothing is viewed as a throwaway object, buy the latest trends cheaply, wear it once or twice and then off to the landfill it goes. We simply can't carry on this way and the fashion industry has a duty to help make change happen.
London Fashion Week is a hub of creativity. Of all of the fashion weeks London has a rebellious streak, a bit more of an edge sometimes willing to go where others won't. So let's use that creativity to find ways to reduce the waste that we see within the fashion industry. Brands such as our very own Riyka London use recycled materials to produce entirely new garments. LFW designer Christopher Raeburn has proven season after season that fashion and sustainability can go hand in hand.
The lining of the Brave Backpack by Matt&Nat is made from entirely recycled materials.
This season the London College of Fashion have joined up with H&M (less said about them the better - talk about saying one thing and doing another) to present sustainable collections created by LCF students. If London wants to be truly forward thinking and pioneering then this is the direction its designers need to be going in. Using more recycled materials makes sense - our raw materials are increasingly depleted and production of new pieces is becoming more and more damaging to the environment.
The Wishbone Necklace from Barocco is made from Recycled Brass plated in Gold
So next time you think about throwing out that little dress you no longer wear, think about the ever growing landfill site you are contributing to and find a way to recycle it. Whether you find your own inner creativity and give the LCF students a run for their money by transforming it into something new or simply take it to a swap event or charity shop, just do something. Let's not waste this chance we have to do something about fashion waste.