Protesters denounced fast fashion and over-consumption ahead of fashion week (Picture: Gumtree)
London Fashion Week kicked off this weekend and saw the biggest stars from the world of fashion descend onto the capital to celebrate the bold, exciting – and sometimes bonkers – offerings from old and new designers around the globe.
However, just days earlier, angry protestors had taken to the cobbles of Somerset House to stage a naked demonstration against the event.
With just placards to protect their modesty the group angrily denounce the culture of fast fashion and the trend of over-consumption they felt was driven by the fashion industry.
Organised by secondhand e-commerce site Gumtree, the protest called on the country’s biggest fashion houses to reconsider the practice of cyclical and seasonal fashion trends and instead, give second-hand items and sustainably sourced brands a bigger space.
New stats also found that almost half of Brits felt fashion week was an outdated concept amidst the environmental crisis, not to mention the cost of living crisis that has seen many households curb their spending habits.
But has fashion week really become so last season? Or is there a way to celebrate the innovation and creativity of British talent without this constant need for the new?
The protest was a response to fast fashion and an addiction to consumption that they felt was encouraged by the fashion industry (Picture: Gumtree)
‘I admire and respect the craftsmanship and creativity of London Fashion Week,’ insists Hannah Rouch, Chief Marketing Officer at Gumtree. ‘But while fashion has always set trends, it also encouraged us to go back to our wardrobes, reimagine items and restyle them – perhaps only seeing us buy a few new pieces per year that would work within our existing wardrobe.
We can’t deny that we are buying more than ever and our once considered purchases have become more instant,’ she adds.
Consumer spending on clothing in the UK has rapidly increased in recent years, hitting an all-time high in 2022 at approximately 62.2 billion British pounds.
Fashion by its very definition is about the most current. Unlike style, which can be deemed as timeless, fashion celebrates the new and the fresh. And the culture of FW across all the major cities has seen brands show collections for spring/summer and autumn/winter and even some for pre-spring and pre-autumn.
It’s a cycle that’s reflected in how we literally consume the contents of our wardrobes. Rcecent research showed that the average Brit is said to throw away 72 items of clothing per year, while households are spending hundreds on items they’d never even worn.
Caption: Miquita Oliver was one of the celebrities who walked the red carpet for fashion week in February wearing second-hand pieces from Oxfam(Picture: PA)
However, some of the biggest fashion houses are taking note and have started to take a stand. Gucci announced in 2020 that they would be reducing their five annual runway shows to two and adopting a season-less approach to their designs in a bid to …read more