The Sustainability Show 2022 logo

Sat 15 Oct & Sun 16 Oct 2022

Can you believe this was the first ever show for Sustainability, and it's 2022!

I attended only on Saturday 15th Oct, the difference with the Sunday were some of the speakers.
As the show was about how we can live more sustainably, the show itself had to run amongst its values. This was incredibly heart warming to see, and I felt a very strong sense that this is how shows should be generally anyways! Examples were that the exhibition stands were all re-used stands. Any posts or advertising material were made from recycled materials, with some business cards made from seeded paper. Dinner and drinks from the café were all provided on actual ceramic crockery, with metal cutlery, and hardly any disposable cups were in sight throughout the whole day. Public transport was encouraged to get to the venue. These may sound like such simple gestures but you'd be surprised how many of these traditional methods are no longer in place at trade and exhibiting shows!

The venue itself, the Business Design Centre in Islington has a very strong ethos in sustainability, and leads the way compared to other larger venues across London. The venue has many accolades including the Exhibition News Corporate Social Responsibility Award in 2018 and 2019.[1.] 

So, what happened on the day?
A show which allowed for shopping, getting inspired, and just learning about how to live a more conscious life, there were quite a few talks and workshops going on throughout the day. On the programme were a couple of talks I really really wanted to see, but I found I ended up watching pretty much all of the talks throughout the day! Here, I am going to briefly talk about just one of them that I felt was most important to me.

Safia Minney MBE, founder of People Tree and Fashion Declares, hosted a panel with Bel Jacobs, former fashion editor, Metro and climate campaigner, Thao Vu, founder & designer of KILOMET 109, Vietnam, and Mark Bloom, founder of Komodo, to discuss why the Climate Emergency calls on us to redesign our lives. 

Safia Minney has been one of my inspirations in life, so I felt incredibly privileged to hear her speak. She founded the clothing company People Tree which was the first fashion company to achieve the World Fairtrade Organisation mark throughout the entire supply chain over 30 years ago. What a feat!

This talk was incredibly wholesome as we heard about how these creative wonders got to where they are today, and how we can feel hopeful for the future. 

Thao Vu, founder of KILOMET 109, designs her own fabrics from local craftsmanships into the weaves of the fabric. She brought samples of a banana silk fabric she uses, and discusses the natural processes of designing, all incorporating local craft and resources.

Bel Jacobs, who used to be a fashion editor realised she was part of the problem, encouraging excessive buying behaviour of luxury brands, ignoring the ethics behind the labels.

We have given ourselves the right to exploit animals and workers in the supply chain. She came across a film called "My Fancy High Heels" and vowed never to wear or buy leather ever again, after seeing how animals were treated within the supply chains. Another film she suggested watching is Slay on WaterBear. These films are recommended with warning, they are not an easy watch. But can we really afford to ignore the reality of it?

Thoughts that stayed with me from this discussion:

  • It was said that 66% of the fast fashion industry is made of synthetic fibres derived from fossil fuels. Therefore it was suggested that even just kicking out the use of synthetic fibres derived from fossil fuels within the system would make a huge impact to our planet and help to see a more hopeful future.
  • To fully appreciate our clothing, we need to connect through our clothing to the earth. Fibershed is a non-profit which explores the lifecycle of fibre to garment, offering programs, and developing systems to support local systems.
  • Keep things local, support not exploit. 

Another wonderful talk was by Lucy Siegle. I first heard about Lucy when I read her book 'To Die For' and then watched her film 'The True Cost' way back when, shortly after the Rana Plaza tragedy. As we approach systemic issues associated with upcoming events such as the Black Friday sales, it's even more important to live more consciously. Her latest book 'Be The Ultimate Friend Of The Earth', is so far proving to be a very fun and useful read, which I hope to share some insights with you in a later blog!






A KIND CLOTH are in no way affiliated with any of the mentioned articles in this blog. Opinions expressed are all one's own.

Image: Frontier Events

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