23 May 2013

Out And About: Orsola de Castro at The School of Life



Image By John-Paul Flintoff

About a month ago, I attended an interactive event at The School Of Life as part of their World Changers series. It was led by Orsola de Castro, founder of Reclaim to Wear, upcycled fashion label From Somewhere and co-founder of Estethica at London Fashion Week. And co-hosted by John-Paul Flintoff, author of ‘How To Change The World’ and ‘Sew Your Own

After hearing Orsola’s story and ethos and feeling up her ‘rubbish’, the room full of women (and one man); designers, entrepreneurs, crafters, writers, suppliers, corporates, charity shop workers and educaters, discussed as a group the culture of disposable fashion, our intentions, ideas, and actions for change. It was a completely inspiring, utterly interesting and heart warming evening.

Here are some things I took away from the experience:

FACT Colour Dyes Are Bad For You: Because clothing comes into prolonged contact with one’s skin, toxic chemicals are often absorbed into the skin, especially when one’s body is warm and skin pores have opened to allow perspiration. Synthetic dyes are hazardous to consumers and very dangerous for workers in the industry. Natural dyescolors don't carry these finishing chemicals and are a source of safe employment for the rural sectors of poor countries. (info link)

FAVOURITE QUOTES
"Upcycling is really just common sense, it is also poetic"
"Sometimes you have to look back to look forward"
"In with the old, out with the new"
(all) - Orsola De Castro

CONCEPT Slow Fashion: The concept of slow fashion is about bringing fashion back to what it was, an expression, an art, and a story. Before it became a business of more is more. It's about consiousness, respecting workers, creating and sharing a story, building relationships, resourcefulness, profitability, producing items of quality, reducing consumption, utilizing traditional methods of garnment and textile making. You can read more on slow fashion here

WORD Greenwashing: I hadn't heard this term before, I knew the definition, but not the word, incase you didn't know either - it's a form of spin in which organizations deceptively promote their aims and policies as environmentally friendly for press/sales/power ect...

WHAT YOU CAN DO There are thousands of eco-friendly designers. Find a designer you love and support them by purchasing single well made items with the money you'd normally spend on your high street sprees (doesn't mean you shouldn't/can't shop on the high street, just means you should only buy WHAT YOU LOVE)

The School Of Life: http://www.theschooloflife.com/


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