To Be a Voice for Change is not just about tone, it’s also about context. Fashion is political, from our individual actions and choices, to the power of its major industries and economies. Having cross threads in education, business, government, society and research has been vital to us since our outset. Collectively these make up the inquiry, commitment, jurisdiction, will and means to re-balance what we value and how we live. Fashion, in both its production and consumption, is about vital resources, so engaging and informing government to value and support better practice is a of great importance to us at CSF.
From discussions in 2009, leading to formation in 2011 CSF, has provided the secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group on Ethics and Sustainability in Fashion. Working with its founder, Baroness Lola Young, we’ve set agendas for debate, hosted discussions involving a variety of great speakers and turned a committee room into a design work room for the day. Our scope of exploration includes development of political solutions that might address the environmental impact of excessive consumption; the assessment of government’s role relating to exploitative labour conditions in the supply chain; concerns relating to the welfare of animals used in making fashion products; and critically, the means to educate children and young people on issues of sustainability.
These aims are explored in a variety of ways, through advising parliamentarians, written reports, inclusive events and lively debates around how we care for and exchange our clothes, manufacture in the UK and elsewhere and engaging first time voters in the political system using fashion as a starting point.
The APPG has built a network of individuals, students, designers and businesses all working towards a more ethically and sustainably led industry, creating space for further action as well as raising awareness of issues amongst Parliamentarians.